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
 

Author: Garry Collins, ETAQ President
Tags: Curriculum matters

Post comment

Upcoming Events

State Conference 2019

State Conference will be held on 17th August 2019 at Lourdes Hill College,Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne. Bronwyn Lea, UQ will present a keynote address on the value of  poetry in the new curriculum landscape. Second keynote  to be confirmed. As usual there will be a huge range of practical and inspirational workshops for you to ...

Category:   State Conference
Start Time:   8:45 AM
Date:   Saturday 17th August 2019
Venue:   Lourdes Hill School
Phone Enquiries:   0455 464 000


View all

Latest News

 

View all

Blog Feed

Editor of Words'Worth - Expression of interest

Oct 04 2017
Words'Worth is the journal of The Englis...

Grammar myths

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