In middle school and even in grammar school (how ironic) we as students were brought up being taught formal grammar rules, not only in our language arts class, but also in other classes because it is the correct way of speech and as youths we are supposed to be shaped with the understanding of formal grammar. Grammar was never something that was I annoyed by, it was just an easy class to me that would take up time as opposed to reading. The majority of students in the classroom wouldn’t pay attention, figuring that it just wasn’t important, and most of these individuals kept this trend going in high school. Some kids found that understanding formal grammar was a challenge because at home they might have been brought up with a different language background or environmental slang which grew instinctual to them. Others found it plain boring, and decided to use the class to catch up on some sleep, and at times I was shamelessly self-involved. In “Grammar and the Teaching of Writing: Limits and Possibilities,” Rei Noguchi states “formal grammar, being uninteresting or too difficult, is not adequately learned by student” (4). Because it is a difficult task to adequately learn, a lot of kids have the mindset of grammar being the subject which one might try to avoid.
I mentioned in my previous post which had to do with Anne Curzan’s “Says Who? Teaching and Questioning the Rules of Grammar” that the times are always changing in turn making the English language a variable. Nowadays, people communicate through mobile devices, text messages, Facebook, even blogs such as this one, and most of the time we don’t think to type with proper grammar etiquette in mind. Due to the fact that we spend so much time talking or should I say typing, it is only natural that this way we communicate becomes instinctual and a habit which in the end is hard to break. This makes grammar so hard and because of all these other habits, or environmental upbringing, etc. we tend to have trouble when it comes to making sure everything that you’re writing down is formal grammar – at least to an inexperienced writer.
During my tutoring sessions which I currently have five students in, I tend to see myself correcting the grammar in their essays due to the rules I was taught which turned to instinct growing up in our school systems. Although I try to emphasize the importance of strong connective thinking along with good transitions and flow of the paper, I know that subconsciously I am giving off grammar tips and fixations. All in all, if the student puts in practice to the subject of formal grammar, then he or she will succeed in it. As stated, a background or certain environment can shape ones instinct, therefore if one surrounds themselves with the proper usage of grammar it just takes some zoning in and concentration along with practice. After all, who’s to say an old dog can’t learn new tricks.