Student reflects on grammar in the classroom

Naveen Yarlagadda ('11)/ For Eastside

grammarbook.jpgA student walks into a classroom and sits down. He turns his head to the board, and immediately his arms sweat and his head aches with confusion as the board reads “Grammar Final Next Week.” His stomach tightens and he sits there thinking about how to pass the exam. This is just what a typical freshman thinks when she or he is about to learn grammar.

“Kids just don’t get it these days; these are the building blocks to English,” a teacher might say.

Students not only hate grammar, but they also do not understand it. Just go up to any random student and ask, “Hey buddy, what is a common splice error?” The response: a look as if you have gone insane.  

Honestly, is grammar important? Is JK Rowling really checking if her indirect object is in the right part of the sentence? Does Tom Clancy really care if he forgot to put a semi-colon in a sentence? The answer: these authors care about grammar to an extent, but they do not have to teach themselves everything about the subject.

Grammar needs to be taught to students in a way in which they can use it in their writing. Instead, teachers simply hand out papers that have a list of every single tense there is to each commonly used verb — for example, “I have lain.” Students are not going to have a clue of what past perfect tenses and past future whatever tense is they are just given a chart and told to memorize it.

Walking out of class everyday I hear the same thing over and over again: “Grammar final! Why can’t these people make it simpler?”

Teachers could just create the three laws of grammar or some system to comprehend this subject. “Well, if it works, why not?” say English students while walking out from a grammar lesson in their classroom.

If teachers just make the subject more concise and easy to follow and teach what is necessary to them, students will not only understand grammar, but take it with them to their future carriers.

Grammar will be useful to students as they progress throughout the years to come. But again, teachers should not be teaching unnecessary grammar and making it seem more complicated than it is.