ERIC Number: ED173789
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Language Curriculum: Past, Present, and Future.
Meade, Richard A.
In tracing the development of language curriculum in public schools, one discovers that prior to the twentieth century grammar was the center of linguistic attention. Around the beginning of the century, psychologists and others were doing research on the supposed efficacious results of such study and were finding that such supposed results were greatly exaggerated. Nevertheless, the great majority of English teachers continued to argue that formal grammar study should remain in the curriculum. In actual practice, however, teachers began teaching only that grammar considered to be functional, although little agreement existed as to what that was. The functional movement sought to reveal the usefulness of grammar and emphasized drill work to eliminate errors. Through the 1930s it was assumed that all pupils should receive instruction in grammar. Since then, research has shown that pupils of lower ability and perhaps even of average ability may not be able to learn grammar. In spite of this, many schools continue to ignore research results and to teach formal grammar to all students. Since the 1930s, language teaching has slowly taken into account the concepts of varieties of usages, appropriateness as opposed to correctness, and dialect differences. More frequently, matters such as language change, dialects, and language play are replacing more formal studies of grammar. (TJ)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the combined Annual Meeting of the Conference on English Education and the Secondary School English Conference (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 15-18, 1979)