Sponsored Post: The Wrong Way to Teach Grammar

Check out this sponsored post from our friend, Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand of the Writing Course/Advanced Writing Resources. Fred’s thoughts are in blue. The post also features an article written by Michelle Navarre Cleary that was featured in Atlantic Monthly

We’ve been pointing this out for years! Kids will learn to love writing (and grammar) if you focus on good literature and lots of writing practice. Studying Grammar is deadly. Don’t take my word for it. Read the Atlantic Monthly Article…


The Wrong Way to Teach Grammar

No more diagramming sentences: Students learn more from simply writing and reading.

Michelle Navarre Cleary


Boston Public Library/Wikimedia Commons

A century of research shows that traditional grammar lessons—those hours spent diagramming sentences and memorizing parts of speech—don’t help and may even hinder students’ efforts to become better writers. Yes, they need to learn grammar, but the old-fashioned way does not work.This finding—confirmed in 19842007, and 2012 through reviews of over 250 studies—is consistent among students of all ages, from elementary school through college. For example, one well-regarded study followed three groups of students from 9th to 11th grade where one group had traditional rule-bound lessons, a second received an alternative approach to grammar instruction, and a third received no grammar lessons at all, just more literature and creative writing. The result: No significantdifferences among the three groups—except that both grammar groups emerged with a strong antipathy to English. …rest of the article: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/02/the-wrong-way-to-teach-grammar/284014/


Really…it makes sense. All the tedium of learning grammar is torture, and it makes a young writer ‘busy’ in their own head. Grammar is fine to carefully learn if you are a student of analysis (like a analyzing Bible texts), but it really (really) doesn’t help a young writer to learn how to write. Writing helps the most. Next, does the writing make sense? If they are writing and it makes sense, then you are on the right path! If you can explain how it might make more sense, then you are the right teacher!


Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand www.advanced-writing-resources.com