A linguistic professor has said that Michael Gove’s new tests for pupils up to the age of 14 will demand a greater knowledge of grammar than many teachers possess – but it’s not their fault.
The Education Secretary’s new curriculum features rigorous testing on the mechanics of grammar, but Professor Bas Arts has attacked teachers’ ability to teach the subject, as they often have “no knowledge of English grammar themselves,” the Telegraph reports.
The University College London academic said: “Many teachers feel uncomfortable with grammar and don’t know how to use it formally.” However, their lack of knowledge is due to a historic lapse in the formal teaching of grammar: “There was a point in the 1960s when the Government said that schoolchildren didn’t need to learn any grammar as it inhibits their creativity. Now, that’s changing rapidly,” he said.
Professor Aarts is behind Englicious, an online teaching resource that will give schools access to one of Britain’s biggest databases of the English language. His colleague on the project Joe Walsh, from the National Association for the Teaching of English, said it was impossible to generalise about an entire generation of teachers.
If you’re an English teacher, what’s your reaction to professor Aarts’ claims? Share your views with us!