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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > According to some, many native English speakers cannot understand basic grammar

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jul 08, 2010 06:33AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...

I don't know. Some of this seems pretty...obvious...and I'm not sure the implications are accurate because they ignore context. What do you think? Do the educated and uneducated essentially at least sometimes speak different languages, which is (if I'm reading this right) what this article seems to assert?


message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments well, i didn't really understand the article or your comment really so i would call this plausible


message 3: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) This theory is EXTREMELY valid in many areas in the South. I can vouch for this.


message 4: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) I pulled my daughter from public school in third grade when she had to help classmates learn to write their names. What were they doing in third grade? It seems public education has this everybody wins mentality, we all have to have super ego self esteem. I don't think we are doing the kids any favors. In my area, there are a lot of native Spanish speakers. Many of these kids never become proficient in either language. The system is setting them up for failure. IMO, education needs to get back to basics and leave the morality training to parents. For more examples, watch any Jaywalking episode.


message 5: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i never knew how bad my language/grammar was until i joined TC and then i was told regularly about my misuse of the english language. this is like home school for me


message 6: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) right there with you K...especially when I am not at a desk writing all day. Like anything it takes practice... see my lack of complete sentences :)


message 7: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments yeah well you will hear about it soon after writing it that way


message 8: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17345 comments Mod
I also heard that something like 26% of Americans don't know who we gained Independence from on the 4th of July.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Sally wrote: "I also heard that something like 26% of Americans don't know who we gained Independence from on the 4th of July."

You mean this past 4th? :-)


message 10: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments if we had not beaten the british then we might just be speaking english today


message 11: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17345 comments Mod
Um, every 4th. You know, how we celebrate on that day something that happened two hundred and thirty four years ago?


message 12: by Heidi (last edited Jul 08, 2010 07:18AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Lindsay would clearly fall into this demographic (the many native English speakers cannot understand basic grammar, I mean).


message 13: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17345 comments Mod
Is there ball sucking in there? How does she even know about that? I didn't at 12.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Sally wrote: "Um, every 4th. You know, how we celebrate on that day something that happened two hundred and thirty four years ago?"

Well that leaves out Windows and Apple, all car manufacturers - could it be velvet leaf as toilet paper? That would be a great independence to celebrate!


message 15: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17345 comments Mod
I thought...gently, Barb, gently...that Canada gained independence from France?

(This is what James Michener just told me)


message 16: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments Sally wrote: "Um, every 4th. You know, how we celebrate on that day something that happened two hundred and thirty four years ago?"

that's cool! every year something interesting happened two hundred and thirty four years ago? or am i misreading your highly sophisticated grammar?


message 17: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17345 comments Mod
No, I'm completely batty this morning. I don't even know which word is supposed to go before the next.


message 18: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments imagine that. the french getting their booty smacked. when i was in paris we made jokes all around the city like:

this is where the french surrendered to the british
this is where the french surrendered to germany
this is where the french surrendered to....


message 19: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Lightning hit the YMCA this weekend, and there was a sing on the door about the implications to the hot tub or whatever. The sign was titled:

Mother Natures Visit

Ok, that's a dumb sign, anyway, it sounds like the YMCA got it's period or something, but you can't even put in a possessive? On a sign you post on the door for everyone to see? Wouldn't you proofread that?


message 20: by Phil (last edited Jul 08, 2010 08:27PM) (new)

Phil | 11676 comments A sing on the door? What did it sound like? Was it mocking proofreading skills?


message 21: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Shit. Karma got me.


message 22: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments please tell me that you didn't go on a rant about grammar/spelling and spell something wrong. (and then edit it to correct)


message 23: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments kevin, see message 25.


message 24: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments :)


message 25: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I didn't edit it. I will take my punishment. I need the karma points.


message 26: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments only a dumass would make a spelling error while talking about grammar


message 27: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments i guess they wuld.


message 28: by Karendenice (new)

Karendenice ms.petra, I totally agree with you. The government seems to have taken over the jobs which belong to the parents. Teaching morality at school obviously doesn't work. The government needs to back off. The schools are passing students to the next grade so they don't have to deal with them. They push the responsibility off to the next teacher. I do have some friends that are teachers. The ones that I know are great. But even they see alot of teachers shoveing their responsibility off on someone else. We need to take back our children.


message 29: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11676 comments Nobody has taken our children. The problem is that many have abdicated their responsibility as parents.

Show me where a school has taken over the teaching of morality to your student and I'll show you where your own teachings have failed.

However, as Ms. Petra wrote, there are times when children are advanced only because they've aged another year, not because they've mastered the required skills. Teachers, schools, school boards and parents (I'd say mostly parents) all share responsibilty for this, and must all work together to correct it.

If each of us does what we can to correct this type of failure, it will eventually exist only in those margins we can not reach. For my own part, I got myself elected to the school board, where I can work to make things better. From what I've seen of the parents and their involvement (miniscule), we've got a lot of work to do.


message 30: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17345 comments Mod
I ♥ Bun and her righteous sense.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Welcome to TC Karen.


message 32: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24317 comments Mod
RandomAnthony wrote: "Lightning hit the YMCA this weekend, and there was a sing on the door about the implications to the hot tub or whatever. The sign was titled:

Mother Natures Visit

Ok, that's a dumb sign, anyway,..."


Please tell me that it's was on purpose. (Then edit it away, it's driving me batshit.)

And if Mother Nature = menstruation, then every meteorologist and network newscaster must be talking about storms raining blood.


message 33: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Sally wrote: "I ♥ Bun and her righteous sense."

::likes::


message 34: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart Well, I can only talk about the way grammar has been taught to me in school, and basically...it hasn't been. From my experience, Grammar is seen as a punishment - for both the teacher and the students. When I was in high school and middle school, we would have "grammar tests" which everyone would fail, and the teacher didn't count as an actual grade anyway. In high school, each grammar lesson was preceded with "I know you don't want to go through this anymore than I do, but please take out your grammar books..." and basically it was just worksheets, and then we would go over the answers in class...that's it.

My 10th/11th grade english teacher was the only teacher to take grammar seriously (and that's because she took everything way too seriously).


message 35: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17345 comments Mod
Yes, the backlash from overemphasizing Grammar resulted in a generation of teachers, and therefore students, who have negative perceptions of the importance of grammar. Luckily, the pendulum has begun to swing the other way and grammar will likely be emphasized again in upcoming generations.

I watch some of my match up teachers discuss grammar in the same backhand, hateitlikeyoudobearwithme manner and I think it is appalling.
Of course the art of language and of writing should be taken seriously in an English class. Fuck! It isn't all about memoir writing. Sheesh.


message 36: by Brittomart (last edited Jul 10, 2010 07:22AM) (new)

Brittomart I agree wholeheartedly that it should be taken seriously.

The most writing I did in an english class before college was my 11th grade year. It was AP English Language/Composition, and we wrote essays until our hands fell off. And this was because we were preparing for the AP Test for the entire year. And even then, with the grammar thing, there was always this "Well, the AP Graders know that this is a rough draft..." blah blah.

I was so sick of being taught for a test. We didn't do any writing at all in my 9th grade english class because my teacher was more focused on the standardized test at the end of the year. I've always had this feeling that we weren't learning for our own good, but we were learning so we could pass a test.

My last english class in high school in my senior year...well, we wrote two "papers" that weren't graded. We were supposed to do a research paper (it's required by the state), but we ran out of time at the end of the year, so my teacher turned it into a research presentation. And we read a lot, took a lot of quizzes and tests on what we read...and watched the LOTR Trilogy for about a month and a half. No one took that class seriously because it was an AP Literature and Composition class, and it's really hard to get college credit for that particular test, so most of my classmates were like...whatever.

So basically, if there's no test at the end of the class, my classmates really didn't take it seriously, and I blame that on standardized testing. And "taking it seriously" does not equal making an A or something in the class. I was in "advanced" and "honors" classes since 6th grade, and I've seen kids bullshit their way through the entire system.

And now we're here in college, and...bullshitting doesn't work as much, and it's like, "Hey, no one's ever really taught us how to study, have they?" Nope.


message 37: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17345 comments Mod
This makes me sad. I HATE standardized testing, teaching to the test, no child left behind, all of that. It is good to hear you articulate the problems with the system so well, especially as one so recently within it as a student.
It is hard. As an instructor I see a lot of college freshmen who have NO skills at all in terms of sentence construction or correct punctuation usage. And it is not their fault. I just had to work in grammar instruction with the caveat that if they are planning to graduate college and be able to write anything at all on their own they had better be able to self-edit if they need to write without relying on MS spell check or god forbid MS grammar check. Which does nothing.


message 38: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) I think the best way to teach grammar is by teaching a foreign language. While I knew grammar well enough by the time I got to high school, it was in my French classes that I learned the most about grammar. I learned more about English grammar in French than I did in English classes because the teacher had to compare every French rule to the English rule.


message 39: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24317 comments Mod
Sandi wrote: "I think the best way to teach grammar is by teaching a foreign language. While I knew grammar well enough by the time I got to high school, it was in my French classes that I learned the most abou..."

I agree - learning German taught me more about English grammar than I ever learned in any English grammar class.

But the best way to speak correctly and grammatically is to have parents who do so...and to read a lot.


message 40: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jul 11, 2010 05:06AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I do not hate standardized testing...it's one necessary piece of the puzzle...and I thought NCLB had some positive aspects...but I'm too lazy to write about them here. Actually, in some ways, both Bush and Obama have pushed education in different, but somewhat unpredictable, ways. Obama's definitely crossed traditional democratic party traditions (e.g. his support of changing teacher evaluation systems, which the union traditionally has been against) in education, to his credit.


message 41: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17345 comments Mod
Why is the notion of me someday joining a union so hush hush at the Univ, RA?


message 42: by Phil (last edited Jul 12, 2010 09:15PM) (new)

Phil | 11676 comments Unions for teachers are out of control. Unions in general work okay for the more senior members, but they have great (and often realized) potential to absolutely suck for the customers (students, in this case).

No student benefits when an unqualified teacher, or one who has retained their job only because of seniority, is in front of the class.

Anecdotally, my brother-in-law belonged to a union for floor installers. There were many senior union members who were widely known for doing shoddy work or using substandard materials, but they still got a good share of the jobs because they'd been around forever. They didn't care jack shit about the customer. I won't hire from a union shop when I need something done. Why should I compromise on that for my son's education?


message 43: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) Phil wrote: "Unions for teachers are out of control. Unions in general work okay for the more senior members, but they have great (and often realized) potential to absolutely suck for the customers (students, ..."

I have to agree with Phil. Many teachers/employees in general become complacent when they know they have tenure/seniority. At the same time it is important for parents to let teachers know when they are doing a good job. My daughter had an outstanding civics teacher that actually taught the constitution (imagine that). When I spoke to her and thanked her for her hard work, she said she wanted her kids to be responsible voters and understand our government Again, what a concept! Good, productive, objective teachers should be rewarded.


message 44: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jul 13, 2010 07:11AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Sally wrote: "Why is the notion of me someday joining a union so hush hush at the Univ, RA?"

Well...let me ask a couple questions before I answer...1) why do they want a union? 2) What do you mean by "hush hush"?, 3) Do they already have a faculty senate?

I tend to agree with Phil and Petra here in that teachers' unions, once bastions of protection of good teachers and reasonable contract negotiations, now do more harm than good protecting bad teachers and screwing over young teachers. That's a simple response, I know, but I'm too lazy to go into it deeper now. I'll say, though, I saw some great young teachers lose their jobs in Milwaukee this spring because the union wouldn't allow for the firing of teachers anyone would realize were ineffective because they had more seniority.


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

That from a school district that is close to being taken over by the state because they have such an abysmal record of both graduation and scoring. It is keeping the state from getting a lot of federal funding.


message 46: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17345 comments Mod
I'm still sort of into the idea of charter and private schools. I think the public school system is sick, and needs to be shuttered. Start over. It is designed for 1952 and that doesn't work anymore.


message 47: by ms.petra (last edited Jul 14, 2010 05:39AM) (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) this is an interesting discussion Sally. If you have time listen to the podcast. (approx 40 min)

http://www.koaradio.com/pages/mikeros...

podcast link
http://a1135.g.akamai.net/f/1135/1822...

Guest: Madeleine Sackler, producer of The Lottery, a documentery about a charter school in Harlem and their fight against the public school monopoly. www.thelotteryfilm.com


message 48: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I'm pro-charter/choice. I'm also pro-charter/choice accountability.


message 49: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17345 comments Mod
Yes. But when the school is run like a business there is someone who answers to shiiiite that sometimes goes down. people lose their jobs like that *snaps fingers*.


Yet also there are a lot of creepy sex crimes in schools around here.


message 50: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24317 comments Mod
The ETS (Educational Testing Service) has this website that will proofread essays for you. I pasted in one of my goodreads reviews just to see how I measured up, until I noticed that you had to pay, whereupon I quickly deleted it. It will give you feedback on grammar, mechanics, usage, and style in addition to correcting typos. The prices are:

2 submissions for $2.49
25 for $27.99
10 for $11.99
50 for $52.99
100 for $99.99
https://proofwriter.ets.org/index.php

It kind of skeeved me. The only reason I took notice of it was because Teach For America recommended it and linked to it for applicants writing their Letters of Intent. Would you use something like this? Should TFA applicants have to resort to something like it (shouldn't they know the rules of good writing already), and isn't it weird that TFA would recommend it?


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