Wordplay is a blog project featuring posts from students enrolled in ENG 320 Grammar and Linguistics (Fall 2019)

Is Grammar Really Important?

by Maddison Cox

How long ago do you think that people were using grammar? Would you believe me if I told you that at least 433 years ago, there were people using grammar? According to an article on the history of English grammar by Lawyerment, grammar was used way back in the 16th century when “William Bullokar wrote and published a book entitled ‘Pamphlet for Grammar’ in 1586.” Grammar helped to commercialize the western societies for many years. English grammar has played a large role in effective communication, leadership, and being able to talk about the English language. Definitions of grammar and the ways of thinking about grammar have shifted back and forth many times in the 433 years that grammar has been alive. This is because grammar changes over time. For example, take a look at what Chaucer wrote around 1400 and compare it to what we would say today.

Source: https://www.slideshare.net/pulakctg/middle-english

It’s interesting to notice the changes in grammar and to think about why grammar is continually changing and shifting. Grammar has changed in different regions and in schools because of new findings, better ways to teach it, and because of changes in technology. 

Source: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Parts-of-Speech-Posters-Grammar-Posters-Grammar-Wall-Kit-Classroom-Decor-1938439

When I was in school, grammar was in a separate book and it didn’t necessarily get connected to other aspect such as writing and reading. What did you do for grammar when you went to school? Now, grammar is not supposed to be taught alone but combined with other subjects. According to Concordia University in Portland, it is a waste of our time to try to teach grammar separately from writing and reading. Teachers reading aloud to their students, extensive reading and writing, and using mini lessons on certain grammar topics are the most useful methods to teaching grammar.This has all changed from when I went to school because there has been a lot of research done to understand more about it. It is important that students are able to understand grammar but also able to apply the techniques in order to be affective leaders and communicators later on in life.

As a future teacher, grammar is something that I will definitely want to know the background of so that I am not teaching my students something that I don’t even know or understand! I hope to be able to feel comfortable teaching grammar because I know the basics. Although grammar is constantly shifting and changing, it is something that teachers need to be aware of so that they are able to understand the best practices and resources to use when they are applying it in the classroom. How could grammar not be important when it is something that has been used for over 433 years and it is something that we are still continuing to teach in schools? We as future teachers need to implement techniques in order for students to learn best because I think that it is safe to say that grammar is going to be something that we are going to need to know for many years to come!


References:

“The History of English Grammar.” Lawyerment.com (2013, January 5). Retrieved from https://www.lawyerment.com/library/articles/Reference_and_Education/Languages/5995.htm

“Effectively Teaching Grammar: What Works (and What Doesn’t Work).” Concordia University-Portland (2017, November 8). Retrieved from https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/teaching-grammar-what-works-and-what-doesnt/.


Maddison Cox is a junior at Chadron State College originally from Rushville, Nebraska. She is studying Elementary Education K-8 and someday hopes to teach 1st or 2nd grade in a small school district.

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