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Showing posts from February, 2012

Grammar--who needs it?

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Most people associate English lessons with grammar: verb tenses, prepositions, articles, and so on. I know that it's completely necessary to learn grammar, if you want to speak, read and write a language. But it's so tedious and boring to memorize grammer rules, and it's not the most effective way to learn grammar.

You can memorize rules and pass a test, but that's not at all the same thing as understanding why a rule exists and how it functions. I once taught 8th-grade English in Florida, and was surprised that my students did not know the parts of speech (there are 8 of them: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, pronoun, interjection and conjunction). So I told them that no one could pass my class without passing a simple test on parts of speech.

I found  that most students could list the 8 parts, and provide a simple definition (example: a verb describes an action or state of being), but almost none of them could identify the part of speech of a word used in…