Friday, 7 July 2006

More Lit, Less Grammar, Vocab and all that nonsense.

There is a call to expand the literature component in the English language school syllabus in The Star. (Our Star, not the one in Dunedine. Nor am I referring to Proxima Centauri.)

Quoth the owl:
I suspect the whole problem lies in the English language school syllabus and the way it is taught. I think we would be able to make people write well if we expanded the Literature component and forgot about teaching grammar, comprehension, vocabulary, and the works.

Just concentrate on Literature and writing. People are unable to write in English because they don’t think in the language. Lacking practice makes it very difficult to write. Once people start to read and write, everything will fall into place. They will understand sentence structure. No amount of grammar lessons will make people understand syntax.
I don't totally agree with that no-grammar-vocab-comprehension thing, but this nocturnal mouse-eater does have a point.


  1. I agree with you, we do need grammar, vocabulary and comprehension. But we equally need literature. Both should go hand in hand. We need to learn the rules, as well as feel the language.

  2. Exactly. We cannot break the rules if don't know them!

  3. Such calls have been put out for years. But until serious action is taken, it will remain wishful thinking.

    By serious action, I mean clamping down on corruption. The primary reason our syllabus remain lethargic is because our board of education is so closely affliated with the textbook publishers and distributors that supply our schools. Kickbacks, bribery, and profiteering are common.

    This is precisely why our syllabus is so resistant to change. Because as it stands, it is profitable for the powers-that-be. So why mess with a winning formula? ;)

  4. And of course, that wont be changing so soon. I guess then it's up to the parents to instill literature reading in the minds of the young.


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