Tag Archives: grammar

What *does* improve children’s writing?

In my last post I discussed evidence that suggests grammar teaching does not lead to an improvement in children’s writing. Although it seems implausible that grammar teaching would not be positively correlated

Can grammar teaching improve pupils’ writing?

Let me begin with an anecdote. The first time I ever really encountered the meta language of grammar was after finishing my degree in English Literature and embarking on a six-week course

Why study grammar?

Trying to express complex thoughts in simple English … is demanding, challenging and takes time. Terry Leahy There’s been a lot of fuss over the past week about whether it’s appropriate to assess

If writing is magic, grammar is alchemy

I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences. I like the feeling the everlasting feeling of sentences as they diagram themselves. Gertrude Stein Writing is

The glamour of grammar: in context or not?

It’s something of an understatement to say that glamour and grammar are not usually closely associated in many people’s minds. One of the 100 words David Crystal uses to tell The Story of English is

Principled curriculum design: the English curriculum

The tragedy of life is that one can only understand life backwards, but one must live it forwards Søren Kierkegaard Back in March 2013, I wrote about the principles underlying my redesign

Redesigning a curriculum

Effective reform must start with the understanding that the curriculum is the central focus and the central business of schools. Effective curricula are the sina que non of the system that is

The mathematics of writing

A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns… The mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the

Creativity, analysis and comparison

English teachers have a tough gig. We need to constantly hone the hard-edged skill of analysis whilst simultaneously encouraging the fluffy stuff of creativity. There’s a lot said and written about creativity

Does creativity need rules?

Last week’s #ukedchat was titled, How can we build children’s imaginations so that they have more to choose from for their writing? and focussed on the dark art of creativity. My contribution

Is grammar glamorous?

Well, no it’s not is it. Grammar’s that dull stuff what kids got taught in the 60s. And then enlightened educationalists decided it was unfashionable for children to know how to parse