Is it too Late to Bring Back Grammar?
Can Mr Gove bring grammar back into the school curriculum? It is not as simple as just starting to award more marks for it.
I am always amused by how much fire and fury the subjects of grammar, spelling and punctuation elicit from the British public. Not being able to spell is no deterrent to the people who want to sound off about it. Making a spelling mistake while complaining about people who can't spell is extremely common, so presumably even the possibility of ridicule is not a powerful enough motivator to persuade them to refer to a dictionary. There are plenty of online ones - far be it from me to suggest actually taking a dictionary off a shelf!
A recent outburst was caused by an article in the Mail (they often are) about Mr Gove and his latest education reforms. The article covers other topics besides grammar and spelling - but the headline is carefully chosen to get us all going. The comments alone are worth a read.
Serioiusly though, I am concerned that a generation of schoolteachers who have not learned grammar and punctuation systematically will struggle to teach them. Allocating more marks in exams to a subject that is not properly taught in schools is surely very unfair? Who will have the advantage? I guess predominantly the children of parents who speak a variant of English that is accepted by the establishment and who encourage reading and have books in the house.