As a concerned parent, understanding the key traits of effective grammar instruction will make it easier to assist your child in developing his communication skills.
When discussing effective grammar instruction, it's necessary to understand the difference between declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge.
In order to truly master English grammar, a student must have both declarative and procedural knowledge. Memorizing grammar rules isn't useful unless a student understands how to apply these rules to daily communication.
The way grammar is typically taught in schools today is most likely very different from how you learned basic grammar rules. Although declarative knowledge was once the primary goal of grammar instruction, today's teachers now place a greater importance on helping students develop procedural knowledge.
Traditionally, English grammar was viewed as a separate part of the educational experience. For example:
This philosophy is sometimes referred to as prescriptive grammar instruction.
Today, grammar is viewed as an essential communication tool.
This philosophy is sometimes referred to as descriptive grammar instruction.
Even though the hands-on knowledge students gain from descriptive grammar instruction can be quite valuable, it is interesting to note that this modern approach to teaching English grammar is not without its critics. In fact, many people believe the current pedagogical approach has led to an overall loosening of grammar standards. However, this has yet to be conclusively proven.
If you're interested in helping your child develop a better understanding of English grammar, remember the following tips:
Links to grammar worksheets and interactive grammar lessons can be found at:
Remember, worksheets can fail to help students develop the critical thinking skills necessary for applying the rules of grammar to real life situations. You need to apply the worksheets, handouts and games to everyday life.
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