Saturday October 17, 2020
There are two schools of thought on the importance of grammar. Some say that there are many reasons grammar is important. They cite benefits such as better communication, understanding of what they hear, and reading comprehension. Others retort that "Why does it matter how good our grammar is; if people understand one another?"
Is Grammar Important?
I think that grammar is very important and that is why I got involved in the development of WordParts.
I spent most of my career working in the computer field, especially in telecommunications, networking, etc. I worked with some of the brightest people I have ever met.
There was a period when I worked with developers in our lab. I watched the development of the next generation of product. It was my job to document and communicate emerging technologies to the general population, be it marketing, support, etc.
I started with detail notes that were written by our developers. Developers who were experts in their field. Guess what I found out. They did not have good communication skills. They especially did not have good writing skills. In fact, there grammar was very poor.
These developers were some of our best employees, yet they were hindered because they lacked the skills needed to progress and advance in our organization.
An important management skill is effective communication. If you have good grammar skills, you communicate accurately and clearly. In communications, be it reports, messages, collaborating in meetings, clear communication saves time. Employees who have good communication fluency succeed at their jobs because they write and speak with professional competency. Everyone notices. A good communicator stands out.
Our developers needed to understand how to work toward greater success.
Regardless, I was struck by this awareness. Ultimately it became a passion of sorts and through various circumstances I became involved in and passionate about WordParts.
It became apparent that the best place to start was as soon as possible in a child’s life. Kindergarten became a starting point.
Everyone learns to put sentences together when we are children. You could say we all know grammar. Only when we learn how to build sentences, about using and grouping parts of speech to use sentences to communicate clearly and accurately are we considered as knowing grammar. Gradually our writing is not only interesting, but clear and accurate.
The benefits/evolution of grammar learning
There are many reasons grammar is important to everyone. Let’s look at the value to my and your children. They will communicate better. Their thinking skills will improve. They will understand what they hear, they will better comprehend what they read, and their writing will be better. Think how this will help them as they form relationships with other students, friends, and everyone in the family. I hesitate to say it, but their lives will improve, and they will become better people.
A quick retort would be – why does it matter how good our grammar is; if people understand one another. Personally, I think we have been saying that too much and for much too long.
- People recognize superior skills, especially superior communication skills. They are attracted to people of this ilk.
You might say, “but things are changing”. Technology is available for us to learn visually as we use the Internet and YouTube to learn. Texting is quicker and more effective than writing.
- Casual communication has its place. Technology abounds – that is good.
- These are not a replacement for good communication – they are adjuncts.
Let me go back to my developers. Almost all of them had advanced degrees. Many has PhD’s. All of them had to write a thesis. Think of this. A thesis indicates their knowledge of how well they understood concepts. It summarizes their knowledge acquired of years of study. Do you really believe that “why does it matter how good our grammar is; if people understand one another” fits this situation. Do you really believe the professors at the dissertation think so? Grammatical errors tend to ruin thesis and dissertations due to their lack of quality.
I had a friend that ended doing two theses. He told me he finally figured out how to write when he did the 2nd one. Remember what I said earlier - in communications, be it reports, messages, collaborating in meetings, clear communication saves time. Grammar is important.
Grammar and our children
Good grammar helps them to be clearly understood by others. Using grammar poorly results in their messages being unclear and hinders their ability to build relationships. It is important that youngsters develop that skill.
Using grammar correctly makes listening and reading easier, makes communication more enjoyable. This has a positive impact as the child builds relationships.
Good grammar becomes a platform they can use in other learning areas:
- Attention and concentration
- Reading comprehension
- Expressing themselves
- Thinking skills
Learning grammar will help children become better prepared for going on to secondary education where their grammar skills will be tested in essays and assignments across all subjects. Again, good grammar is the platform that helps them communicate better no matter the arena.
Notice your child or student. Are there signs of bad grammar? Are there consequences? Where might they struggle?
Sign of bad grammar
- They have trouble getting their message across
- They are often misunderstood.
- They struggle in class when answering questions.
- The seem to be immature.
- When they talk about things in their life, they have trouble putting things in order
- They often use the wrong tense in their communication
Consequences of bad grammar
- Low self-esteem
- Being bullied
- Poor social skills
Where they might struggle in the future
- Constructing essays and completing written exams at a higher education level.
- Completing research projects as the child may have difficulties understanding the information they are reading.
- Writing job applications.
- Understanding advanced course material.
- Poor reading comprehension.
- Being explicit in verbal communication.
Good grammar will help children today and prepare them for the future
- No matter how they communicate they communicate clearly and accurately
- They express themselves in a successful manner
- Good communication saves time
- Good communicators gain recognition and more successes
- As they get older, their communication is more professional
- Casual communication and attempts to use humor and sarcasm is done with credibility
- Communication is accepted as being credible and accurate