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17 March 2005: Grammar Schmammar (2 of 4)

All sarcasm aside, I think this study makes a very important point about language and how students do and do not learn. To illustrate, I'll use the analogy that my language arts methods professor used so many years ago.

Think of learning to ride a bike. Do you learn by sitting in a class, having an instructor explain to you how to ride a bicycle? What if they take extra time in asking you to diagram all the parts and explain their functions? Even watching the teacher as they model good bicycle riding would not give you what you need to learn how to do it yourself.

Here's another example, a bit closer to home. Remember learning to talk? No? Well, then think of your previous experience watching other young children learning to talk. Imagine hearing a parent correct their three-year-old, "No honey, say 'I am going' not 'I going.'" What would you do if you heard a parent explain that complete sentences must have a subject and a verb clause?

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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