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Why Study Language?

Other Resources

Common Core State Standards for Language:  

Grade 3   Grade 4  Grade 5 

Grade 6   Grade 7  Grade 8





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Nancy Patterson, a long-time leader in middle grade Language Arts research and curriculum development, in “Just the Facts: Research and theory about grammar instruction,” Voices from the Middle 8.3, March, 2001:


The conversation should never be whether or not grammar is taught. Rather, it should be about how grammar is taught…English teachers must move beyond viewing grammar as a set of rules and a code of correctness, and they need to rethink the idea that a comprehensive knowledge of grammar terminology and rules somehow translates into a knowledge of linguistic structure or into an ability to write well. Instead, teachers need to move toward…a classroom that includes grammar within the context of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Grammar should be a means through which students learn more about themselves, their texts, and the world around them” (55). 


Sandra Wilde, teacher educator, author of Funner Grammar: Fresh ways to teach usage, language, and writing conventions, 2012:


"What we should be helping kids to learn about isn't traditional grammar, but fresh, new grammar, all the strange and wonderful knowledge and information about language that makes it as fun as any other human topic to learn about" (3).



Edgar Schuster, high school teacher and author, in Breaking the Rules: Liberating writers through innovative grammar instruction, 2003:


“Traditional school grammar has left a heritage of definitions that do not define and rules that do not rule (in usage, writing, and punctuation). These inadequate definitions and mythrules hamper students rather than help them in their development as speakers and writers" (191).



Mary Ehrenworth and Vicki Vinton in The Power of Grammar: Unconventional approaches to the conventions of language, 2005:


“…[G]iven that our language and culture are in flux and changing rapidly, we serve students best when we empower them to make purposeful choices and decisions based on a complex, nuanced understanding of the effects those grammatical choices will have on both our minds and our hearts and the way they can affect and reinforce meaning” (4).



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