Posts Tagged ‘Grammar’

Principal Trying to Educate Parents Against Using Slang

February 6, 2013


A truly brave yet worthwhile initiative:

Parents have been sent letters from a school urging them to stop their children using phrases such as ‘it’s nowt’ and ‘gizit ere’.

Sacred Heart Primary School, a Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided school, warned against ‘problem’ phrases and criticised children using pronunciations, such as ‘free’ and ‘butta’ instead of ‘three’ and ‘butter’.

The letter spells out 11 ‘incorrect’ phrases. ‘I done that’ and ‘I seen that’ were blacklisted, and parents were reminded that ‘yous’ should not be permitted because ‘you is never a plural’.

Carol Walker, Sacred Heart’s headteacher, defended the letter, saying: ‘We would like to equip our children to go into the world of work and not be disadvantaged. 

‘We need the children to know there is a difference between dialect, accent and standard English.

‘The literacy framework asks children to write in standard English.

‘I am not asking the children to change their dialect or accent but I don’t want them to enter the world of work without knowing about standard English.’

Parents seemed broadly in favour of the language initiative, though they were taken aback to receive the letter.
Cheryl Fortune, 35, a school escort for Middlesbrough Council and parent at Sacred Heart, said: ‘When I saw it I was a bit shocked. I thought my kids are only eight and five, so it is a bit extreme.‘If I am honest though my eldest son said “yeah” last night and my youngest said “it’s yes”, so he corrected him. I can understand why the school has done it, to encourage people to speak properly.’

Carol Walker, the headteacher at Sacred Heart, who is focusing on her pupils’ competitiveness in the workplace

Another parent, engineer Chris Allinson, 31, hadn’t seen the letter but thought it was a good idea.

He said: ‘I try to correct my daughter Jasmine’s speech if she says things wrongly. I want her to get the best start in life.’

Sacred Heart is not the only school where accent is an issue.

Essex school children at the Cherry Tree Primary School in Basildon are being offered elocution lessons after teachers complained that the accent was affecting their grammar and spelling. 


Young Child Shows Dissatisfaction with his Homework (Photo)

January 12, 2013



I love it when a child stands up for what he/she feels is fair and just. Above is a homework sheet where a 5-year-old was expected to complete a sentence that describes a man hitting a dog. The child thinks otherwise.


Click on the link to read Why I Changed My Mind About Homework

Click on the link to read Leave Parents Alone When it Comes to Homework

Click on the link to read Parents Urged to do the Job of a Teacher

Click on the link to read This is What You Get for Doing Your Homework

Click on the link to read Experts Call For Homework to Be Abolished

Click on the link to read The Case in Favour of Homework

Teachars Cant Spel

October 21, 2012

It seems like poor spelling doesn’t stop with the students:

TEACHERS are filling lessons, report cards and letters home with errors, including SMS-style spelling, grammatical mistakes and misspelt spelling lists, parents have claimed.

A survey of 480 people about the literacy skills of the nation’s teachers found half thought the quality was poor.

More than 40 per cent had noticed spelling or grammatical errors on letters sent home from school and 35 per cent had seen mistakes in report cards and marked assignments.

Other parents claimed their child’s teachers lacked passion and skill, taught incorrect information and provided misspelt word lists for children to learn from. Some had even noticed teachers using SMS-style spellings, like l8r (later) and coz (because).

The “must do better” grading comes as the federal government reveals current teachers will be given specialist training to make sure future educators get better mentoring.Current and ex-teachers who took the survey were among those who complained about substandard quality, saying it was depressing.

One teacher from a state high school said many graduate teachers lacked a basic understanding of grammar, spelling and punctuation through their own schooling.

“It’s those 20-somethings who just missed out and I’m scared that they’re going to be teaching my kids,” she said.

Click on the link to read Who Corrects Our Spelling Mistakes?

Click on the link to read This is What Happens When You Rely on Spell Check

Click on the link to read The 15 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in the English Language

Click on the link to read Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important

Why are Teachers so Threatened by Phonics?

September 4, 2012

I am on record as saying that I find teaching phonics to be a challenge because it can be so dry and tedious to students. However, I can clearly see the benefits of the method.

There is a clear campaign from teacher’s unions and academics against phonics. This campaign is heated and vitriolic and makes absolutely no sense to me. Why would an organisation which is entrusted to help children to read, write and spell condemn a method which has a favourable track record? Even if you believed in other approaches (I like to incorporate other approaches too), it makes no logical sense to rant and rave about strategies that others support such as phonics.

Surely, as our students learn in different ways, it is incumbent on us as teachers to teach skills using a variety of different methods:

Nearly nine out of 10 teachers said they practised nonsense words in the run up to the test.

Words like spron, fape and thazz were included in the test designed to check pupils’ abilities to decode using phonics.

And four out of 10 admitted drilling phonics in the week prior to the test.

One Year one teacher said: “Some able readers failed and some non-fluent, less-able readers passed! What does that prove?

“It proves synthetic phonics is only part of a variety of strategies used in learning to read.”

Another teacher said: “I was willing to try it to see if it helped the children and if it helped inform my planning and assessment.

“It was a waste of time and money – (I had to have) a supply teacher to cover me – and had a negative effect on several of the children in my class.”

A Year One teacher said: “Many children made mistakes trying to turn the pseudo words into real words – ‘strom’ became ‘storm’.”

Some 86% of those polled believed the screening check should not be continued.

Perhaps the test needs some improving, but educators can’t be too tough on phonics as a method. After all, many of us can attribute being able to read by phonics.

Click on the link to read Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

Click on the link to read The Resistance Against Teaching Grammar

Click on the link to read Captain Phonics to the Rescue!

Click on the link to read the Phonics debate.

An Educated Form of Graffiti

August 30, 2012

This could be the first word “arbitrary” has been used in an act of vandalism:

Victims of graffiti commonly find themselves painting over misspelled profanities or scrubbing out obscene drawings.

But when the residents of Northumberland Gardens woke to find their luxury cars had been vandalised, the tone was rather more – polite.

Words including ‘very silly’, ‘really wrong’ and ‘arbitrary’ had been scratched into the paintwork with a screwdriver.

Not that the choice of vocabulary will be much consolation. The late-night wrecking spree caused £20,000 damage to the 24 cars targeted in the affluent suburb of Jesmond, Newcastle.

Hours later, Professor Stephen Graham, 47, was arrested and questioned by police. An academic at Newcastle University, he lives in the next street from Northumberland Gardens, where most of the attacks were carried out.

Professor Graham, a graduate of Southampton University, is based at Newcastle University’s school of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, and specialises in the study of cities and society.

The author, editor or co-author of seven books, he  also looks at the sociology of technology, researching urban aspects of surveillance.

Click on the link to read Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important

Click on the link to read No Wonder Children Hate School

Click on the link to read the Lenient Punishments for Teachers Who Have Sex With Under-Aged Students

Our Authors Don’t Want us Teaching Phonics

July 25, 2012

There is a major phonics debate going around. One side argues that one must learn phonics to be able to read properly, the other suggests that phonics is dry and boring and detracts from the pleasure of reading:

More than 90 of Britain’s best-known children’s authors and illustrators have called on the government to abandon its plans to introduce early-year reading tests, warning that they pose a threat to reading for pleasure in primary schools.

The former children’s laureate Michael Rosen is leading the writers’ charge against a phonics-intensive approach to teaching young children how to read.

A letter to the Guardian signed by 91 names including Meg Rosoff, Philip Ardagh and Alan Gibbons says millions is being spent on “systematic synthetic phonics programmes” even though there is “no evidence that such programmes help children understand what they are reading”.

Rosen told the Guardian: “It does not produce reading for understanding, it produces people who can read phonically.”

Click on the link to read Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

Click on the link to read The Resistance Against Teaching Grammar

Click on the link to read Captain Phonics to the Rescue!

Click on the link to read the Phonics debate.

Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

July 17, 2012

I found this particular sign very amusing:



Click here to read The 15 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in the English Language

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