The study of grammar is, I have recently realized, another venue through which the powers-that-be manage to tinker with the minds of working-class people in order to manipulate them.
You must login to vote
The ability to understand the mechanics of one's language is crucial to the organization of one's mind and its ability to make evaluative judgment. Latin was traditionally taught at better learning institutions for this very purpose: yet learning one's own grammar is challenging enough.
Now, however, I find myself remediating 11th and 9th graders in the grammar of (in most cases) their native tongue.
These students, for the most part, are informing me that no one has ever taught them grammar. I know that most of the shoddy teaching methodologies state that grammar will simply 'come with the vocabulary and reading'. I can tell you from experience that this is not the case. Kids will use adverbs for nouns or verbs and will not know how to morph words (change their forms with prefixes and suffices), even if they do know the correct meanings.
This is as shocking as last year, when I had to tell my seniors, including my advanced class, what an 'informed opinion' was. I solved that problem for them quickly; now they WILL know better how to apply this evaluative ability to what they receive from the media.
For my students THIS year, I have had to teach, even to my 11th graders, simple grammatical concepts such as phrases (including adverbial and adjectival phrases besides simply prepositions and prepositional phrases). I had to teach them to strip a sentence down to its basic subject, verb and object. Considering that the dessicated capacity to form cogent opinions seemed to coincide with an inextant understanding of grammar, I made this topic an even greater priority in my lessons this year.
Hopefully my present students wil benefit from thinking a bit about grammar. From there they can expand their ability to discern good to mediocre to bad.