ERIC Number: ED222917
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
What Is Grammar and Why Teach It?
The word "grammar" can be used in many ways: a general theory of language description; a theory for describing one language; a description of a particular language, either in the form of a book (an "English grammar") or the contents of that book; an ideal as opposed to actual description of a language; the properties and processes of a language that exist whether they are described or not; particular aspects of language such as syntax, morphology, or style; and prescriptive rules concerned with a standard of usage. Educators should teach language, and the English language in particular, because it is part of general knowledge; linguistics is a basic discipline with practical applications. Because attitudes and opinions on the English language affect images of self and others, greater understanding of it will eliminate or moderate prejudices, clarify issues under debate, help students refine their ability to adjust their language to the situational context, and give them the knowledge they need to analyze their own and others' writing. In spite of some contradictory evidence, experience leaves no doubt that instruction in grammatical structures, word order, and cohesion devices can improve student writing. Reading and foreign language learning can also benefit from such instruction. Therefore, to improve English instruction, college English teachers need intensive training or retraining in grammar. (JL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (72nd, Washington, DC, November 19-24, 1982).