This essay did bring up one very good point in terms of presenting grammar in a minimalist fashion. If teachers can make grammar simpler and less confusing then students will generally find it easier to absorb and apply the things they learn. In addition, it also makes writing more efficient because the focus of Language Arts would be on content and organization of materials presented which is the main focus of almost any paper written. As Noguchi states, “ The shortening of classroom hours devoted to grammar is not meant to imply that grammar instruction is irrelevant to writing improvement. Rather, it reemphasizes that grammar instruction can and should be made more cost-efficient than it is now”(36). No one will argue that all students need to have an understanding of grammar in order to clearly and efficiently present information and state ideas, but it does not need the hours, weeks, and years of class time that have been spent on it to write proficiently. In Expos especially, the emphasis on grammar as compared to organization and presentation of ideas is dramatically outweighed. A paper that is grammatically flawless, but does not have ideas clearly stated will receive a much lower grade than one with many good ideas that are organized but has more grammatical errors. In elementary and high school students are hardly ever taught how to thoroughly analyze text, so they simply regurgitate the information they take in back onto the papers they write. When they enter college they are asked to actually think and process the text they read and those students feel like they are left helpless in the middle of the ocean. This situation is similar to one of my tutees. He is really smart, he can throw facts and information at me about the essays he has to read all day, but when I ask him to analyze the text he has absolutely no clue what to do. At times when I try to ask him questions to engage his thinking he still throws facts at me from the book. This is very similar to Roberta Chan in The Myth of Laziness where she was a phenomenal student when it came to following step-by-step instructions but was not able to generate her own ideas. A main focus on analytical thinking and organization with grammar as a molding device in classrooms would produce greater papers that did not simply restate already known facts.
Just noting that it took me two days to read this essay because I fell asleep twice while reading it.