Home >  Blog >  Grammar in our schools

Grammar in our schools

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ President on 6 March 2014
  • The following letter was published in The Courier-Mail on Tuesday 4 March with the underlined words deleted and the bracketed one inserted. The paper's heading was "Grammar gripes being addressed". The letter was written in response to an opinion piece headlined "Don't split your infinitives here" that had appeared in the the paper the day before.

Grammar in our schools

Sue Wighton asks to be allowed "one last rallying call for the return of sound grammatical knowledge to our schools" ("Don't split your infinitives here", 3 March).

She should not fret. The process is under way.

The language strand of the English component of the Australian Curriculum contains commendable detail on a sensible approach to the grammar of English. It is just to be hoped that the current review of the curriculum does not meddle with this strength before it has been fully understood and properly implemented.

In addition to the necessary but insufficient business of avoiding grammatical errors, the curriculum sensibly focuses on how different choices of grammatical structures construct meaning in different ways.

There is, however, no place for cluttering up kids' (children’s) heads with three traditional so-called "rules" which are, frankly, nonsense.

I refer to the time-honoured prohibitions against splitting infinitives, beginning sentences with conjunctions, or ending them with prepositions.

As Wighton implies, judiciously managed, all three are fine.

Garry Collins, president, English Teachers Association of Queensland
 

Garry Collins, ETAQ PresidentAuthor: Garry Collins, ETAQ President
Tags: Curriculum matters

Post comment

Upcoming Events

Tony Hytch presents

Tony will present a session entitled  "Getting students assessment ready for Essential English" at Pimlico State High School, Townsville on Saturday 2nd May, 2020. Teachers will explore teh possible options for assessment in Units 1 and 2. In particular how to develop an assessment program which best prepares students for the t...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 2nd May 2020
Venue:   Pimlico High School
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


May Masterclass 2020: Diving Deep into Feedback

This event will offer participants an opportunity to streamline their skills in assessment for learning, moderation and quality feedback processes at a series of workshops for teachers of years 7 -12 to be presented by colleagues and academics. We are investigating the possibility of running this event online on 16 May. Further details wi...

Category:   Master class
Start Time:   8:30 AM
Date:   Saturday 16th May 2020
Venue:   To be confirmed


2020 AATE/IFTE 'IF' Conference

2020 AATE/IFTE 'IF' Conference

The 2020 AATE / IFTE 'IF' Conference will be held in Sydney from 6 - 9 July 2020. The conference website is https://aateifte2020.org.au/ Promotional video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdDJCQONsUQ&feature=youtu.be ...

Category:   National Conference
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Monday 6th July 2020
Venue:   Sydney Grammar School


JCU Spectacular

"Double, double toil and trouble": Creative Writing and Macbeth Professional Development Workshops
Dr Emma Maguire and Dr Claire Hansen

In this double workshop PD session, join Dr Emma Maguire for a one-hour workshop on creative writing, and Dr Claire Hansen for a one-hour session on teaching Macbeth. Discover the essential e...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 25th July 2020
Venue:   James Cook University
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Pre-conference Institute 2020: Diving Deep with Jeff Wilhelm

This event has been cancelled

Category:   Pre-conference Institute
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Monday 10th August 2020
  Repeating On specific dates
Venue:   Ipswich Girls Grammar School and Nudgee College


< Previous | 1 | 2 | Next >
View all

Latest News

View all

Blog Feed

Grammar myths

Sep 12 2017
An edited version of the letter below was pu...

Impact on learning

Sep 12 2017
The following letter was submitted to The Au...
Read all

Testimonials

Read All

This is the first time I have been to an ETAQ conference and it was really sensational to get so much at all of the sessions.

ETAQ conferences always have sessions that make me excited to be a teacher.

I know that ETAQ conferences in the past have never disappointed - valuable, relevant, practical, inspiring so I came again.

Read All

Newsletter

Receive updates
from ETAQ

PO Box 3375, STAFFORD,
Queensland, Australia, 4053
(07) 3284 3718
ABN: 17 689 278 512

Connect to a great range of people who are passionate about English and have their finger on the pulse.

Be Connected