The new era of technology, improved networking, and machinery has been changing the way society operates, particularly on the educational side of things. Grammar classes are less present throughout schools in the U.S., as a result of the decade’s recent technological advances, like spell check. Despite the continuity of english courses in grade school through college, there has been less of a focus on grammar and spelling. The result of this however, poses questions surrounding the possible intellectual decline of students.
Grammar has never been a big focus in Wilson’s common core curriculum. According to English teacher Charles Preacher, it doesn’t make an appearance on the curriculum documents DCPS puts together for teachers to teach. “The writing I see as a teacher doesn’t come up to the standards I was held to achieve as a writer, when I was a student,” says Preacher. In terms of college, Preacher says that he feels students won’t be as prepared as they should be. Adding in the new world of technology to the mix, it is even easier for students to become more reliant on things like spell check, and less reliant on their own knowledge.
“I think sometimes [people], myself included, get a little too comfortable with the ‘crutches’ that are put in place; things like spell check or grammar check,” Preacher says, “I think if you are raised in a world where those are always present for you, it does sort of datract from your own growth. It [spell correct] is definitely not a beneficial crutch in the long run.”
The absence of grammar in schools not only may challenge students who are planning on attending college, but also to students whose first language was not english. “Grammar is important because it can be hard to adjust to learning a new language, since every language has different rules of grammar, and grammar is obviously one of the biggest components of a language,” says 10th grader Tobias Severin.
Junior Malcolm Mays, however, believes that despite grammar’s importance in a person’s speech, its presence in schools doesn’t seem necessary.
Mays argues that modern technology, like spell correct, doesn’t affect his grammar. “I can spell…I can definitely spell,” Mays says, “Grammar’s not that hard to pick up on.”
Although the DCPS curriculum doesn’t require a grammar unit, some teachers prefer to include it in their lessons, for the benefits of their own students.
“On Mondays, for my English class, we have grammar reviews,” explains Freshman Woodfin Mclean. Mclean also shares that he has noticed some setbacks to the limited teachings on grammar, “I notice it when my friends talk, it’s not right,” he says, “I don’t think that some people use grammar correctly, even if they’re writing something official.”
Whether or not students are prepared for their futures is a question on behalf of the jobs or colleges that they will be applying for, later in their lives. However, DCPS schools certainly have room for additional english and literature courses, to help students of all ages and backgrounds succeed.
Grammar, having been argued a large component in depicting how educated a person may be, doesn’t seem to be making its way back to DCPS anytime soon. So for now, students will just have to learn from who they rely on most for information these days–phones and the internet! •