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Book: The Five-Minute Linguist

Chapter: 58. Should Schools Teach Grammar?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.38178


The teaching of grammar dates from 2,000 BC Babylon, and for thousands of years grammar was the most important subject in the school curriculum, and in many countries grammar teaching flourishes. But the UK and the USA largely abandoned it around 1970 because the teaching had lost its way for lack of academic support. Now that grammar flourishes in our universities, it is time for a rethink. Grammar teaching is good for development of the first language, for helping to learn foreign languages and for developing thinking skills; and it can be taught in child-friendly ways. The main challenge is the lack of teachers who know enough grammar to do this.

Chapter Contributors

  • Richard Hudson ( - rhudson) 'University College London'