MONASH University will teach its first-year students grammar and punctuation after discovering that most arrive without basic English skills.Read the item here.
Baden Eunson, lecturer at the university's School of English, Communications and Performance Studies, and convenor of the new course, said about 90 per cent of his first-year students could not identify a noun.
"If you ask them to identify adjectives and other parts of a sentence, only about 1 per cent can manage," he said, according to The Australian.
"It is not really a surprise as only about 20 per cent of English teachers understand basic grammar."
Sent to me via email by Wand with the following comment:
I'm not surprised -- the end result of educational fads. Actually, I am reminded of a 'discussion' I had many years ago with the head of a government high school in the outer west of Sydney. I was undertaking a project for the Dept Education which took me to 13 high schools in the Sydney area. Back then my eldest children were moving from infants to primary school and my discussion was about the lack of teaching English grammar in schools. Well this gentleman, an English scholar with a Masters degree in Language (and it may even have been English literature) proceeded to carry on about students somehow being better off by absorbing this information rather than have it taught, as if students or people learned by some process of osmosis. Anyway I said then that it was all very well for him because he had studied language and could choose to throw away all he had learned but it was a gross disservice to the younger generation to deny them the same knowledge.
As it turned out, we had unknowingly found a solution to this problem because they were taught some grammar at the private schools they attended. One daughter who now has a several of degrees in Arts and Law actually took an advanced English class at University where they studied sentence structure and grammar and she certainly has harsh words to say to anyone wanting to continue with the fad of non-teaching.
I was taught some of this in the 60s and 70s, however I have forgotten a lot of it. Sometimes I fluke it because I know when something doesn't scan. I don't think kids just "absorb" language and grammar, not all of them anyway.
I work in a tertiary institute and I am surprised and disappointed at the level of English language skills of students, they are very intelligent, but they've never been taught proper English use - I suppose their early errors were never corrected, either.
What do you think?