Many years ago, people in the United States often referred to learning institutions for young people as “grammar schools.” However, that term has been replaced with elementary schools. The original grammar schools taught students the classical languages as preparation for attendance at a university.
Today, when someone uses the word grammar, they are most likely referring to language rules . Unfortunately, with texting seemingly taking over the method of communication for many people, the proper use of grammar is frequently ignored. Capital letters no longer exist, abbreviations are common, commas and periods have disappeared, and sentences have become incomplete phrases.
When a student must write an essay, or other assignment, they often struggle with the use of proper grammar. Of course, this does not mean proper language and grammar skills are not being taught. Sometimes correct grammar is just taking a backseat to the presented content.
It certainly frustrates teachers when a writing assignment is completed, but grammar errors are prevalent throughout the paper. For those who need to read the content, the errors take away from the otherwise effective writing.
Why is it Important?
Imagine riding along a well-paved highway as you enjoy the breathtaking scenery. The changing colors of leaves, the bright blue sky, and the snow-covered mountains some distance away. However, a speed bump appears and you must slow down. There is some debris in the road and you swerve to avoid it. A deer darts out of nowhere in front of your vehicle. The breathtaking scenery becomes secondary on your journey.
Grammar mistakes are the speed bumps and distractions readers encounter during an otherwise well-presented writing assignment.
Instructors must continue to impress upon their students the importance of effective grammar skills. Many students have become used to writing text messages or emails. and are losing valuable skills they may have been taught in the early grades of elementary school, perhaps before they began texting friends, and are seeking the same shortcuts during writing assignments.
5 Tips to Teach Effective Writing Skills
What can a teacher do? Here are 5 simple tips to help students maintain effective writing skills.
- Include correct language and grammar as part of the rubric for a writing assignment.
- Demonstrate examples of poor grammar to show how it can distract from the content.
- Post a “Grammar Tip of the Day” or week, and refer to it once or twice during the school day.
- Use peer reviews allowing students to read content and assist each other during the writing process.
- Always model proper language and grammar skills, this includes the times you may send emails to students, create messages on your website, or write comments on students’ work.
Learn Bright includes many language lessons to help students learn grammar skills. Grammarly.com can also become a useful tool and learning strategy to increase a student’s grammar and language skills. You can download the FREE Grammarly plugin here:
6 Reasons Grammar is Still Important
Finally, teachers must explain to students the fundamental reasons why good grammar is vital for all writing.
- It lays the groundwork for effective communication, whether personal, academic, or professional.
- It keeps people from being misunderstood while expressing thoughts and ideas.
- It helps make content clearer, more readable, and more interesting and adds to the writer’s credibility.
- It allows for the effective flow of reading to take place uninterrupted.
- Proper grammar in writing acts as a segue into effective verbal communication skills.
- It is often a sign of intelligence and education. Others may use it to form a positive impression of the writer.
There are no shortcuts to proper language and grammar skills. However, once mastered, the skills will remain with them for a lifetime. Yes, grammar is still important, and this fact must be communicated to students of all ages.