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Constant complaints about Irish students' grammar justified?


patslatt

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Apr 11, 2007
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In recent days,several P.ie commentators mentioned that even some masters degree students of their acquaintance were ungrammatical in English,possibly an indication of absurdly low grammatical standards generally.

About 20 years ago,I was shocked to hear from a friend of my niece that her secondary school had abandoned formal teaching of English grammar,apparently a common trend in schools then. That was a sharp contrast to my education when English teachers were obsessed with even obscure grammatical points such as the distinction between gerunds and past participles,which I no longer remember.

A failure to teach grammar could be down to popular American education fads unproven in empirical research. Some educators claim that students should be encouraged to express their creativity without being inhibited by grammatical rules.

Unlike in America,most Irish students have some experience of learning languages,Irish, French and Spanish, and that should give them a grammatical sense.
 


ruserious

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I saw/seen that yesterday.
I did/done that yesterday.

I would use both in speech, I know one is wrong. Is it a colloquial thing?
 

Mr. Bumble

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I saw/seen that yesterday.
I did/done that yesterday.

I would use both in speech, I know one is wrong. Is it a colloquial thing?
No, one is grammatically incorrect. It's got nothing to do with colloquialism, it's just wrong.
 

cobhguy

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Jun 22, 2010
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696
I have to completely agree gowning up doing ever thing with a computer.

I am doing a law degree at night and find that in class when questioned about a topic i at top off class, but in a writing test i am near bottom as i never learned how to write correctly in school and in a test i am getting slated for my writing.
 

InsideImDancing

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i Feel its Unjustified,so i Do.
 

cb1979

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When did people start to confuse loose and lose? I never remember that being an issue but in the last three years or so every second time someone uses it they use the wrong one.
 

patslatt

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I have to completely agree gowning up doing ever thing with a computer.

I am doing a law degree at night and find that in class when questioned about a topic i at top off class, but in a writing test i am near bottom as i never learned how to write correctly in school and in a test i am getting slated for my writing.
A book on grammar might get you through the law degree!
 

InsideImDancing

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I have to completely agree gowning up doing ever thing with a computer.

I am doing a law degree at night and find that in class when questioned about a topic i at top off class, but in a writing test i am near bottom as i never learned how to write correctly in school and in a test i am getting slated for my writing.
It shouldn't be too hard to brush up on your writing skills and there is plenty of resources online (I know you are probably already snowed under and are sick of studying). :)
 

Odyessus

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I have to completely agree gowning up doing ever thing with a computer.

I am doing a law degree at night and find that in class when questioned about a topic i at top off class, but in a writing test i am near bottom as i never learned how to write correctly in school and in a test i am getting slated for my writing.

I cannot decide whether or not you are being ironic.
 

patslatt

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I saw/seen that yesterday.
I did/done that yesterday.

I would use both in speech, I know one is wrong. Is it a colloquial thing?
"Would" is tricky,depending on the time intended. "I would have met him that day" instead of "I met him that day" and in the above sentence,possibly "I use both in speech".
 
R

Ramps

That was a sharp contrast to my education when English teachers were obsessed with even obscure grammatical points such as the distinction between gerunds and past participles,which I no longer remember.
Gerund and present participle!!

Obscure until a social worker hears "I hate the baby crying" rather than "I hate the baby's crying"....!

The worst indictment I can make about the indifference of teachers to grammar is that I managed to complete my secondary education, without knowing the primary function of a comma. :(
 

ruserious

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"Would" is tricky,depending on the time intended. "I would have met him that day" instead of "I met him that day" and in the above sentence,possibly "I use both in speech".
The use of 'would' for me adds in the thought process of ''on reflection''.
 

Half Nelson

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Love 'em or hate 'em, the Christian Brothers didn't take prisoners where grammar and spelling were concerned.
Today, many teachers fail at the basics, so what chance have the students?
 

controller

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Does “disinterested” mean the same as “uninterested”?
 

gerhard dengler

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My own view is that what was known as the three "R's", reading writing and arithmetic, have all been sacrificed in the name of "progress".

Poor diction and poor grammar and syntax are both derived from the lack of good teaching of basic English.
Are children today taught what nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, are?
 

Half Nelson

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Odyessus

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Does “disinterested” mean the same as “uninterested”?
No. “disinterested” means impartial, as in not having an interest, (as in "vested interest"), while "uninterested" means being bored with the subject. A judge should always be disinterested, but never uninterested.
 

APettigrew92

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I personally endured the talents of two very unflattering English and Irish teachers. Both were TCD graduates and were therefore so certain of their aptitude they thought it best to keep it to themselves rather than share it with the rest of us.

There were several key grammar concepts in English that were simply lost on us. Many individuals wouldn't know what a gerund is, lest of all what to do with it. This is despite English being, from a grammatical point of view, a rather flexible language.

To demonstrate this, you need only compare it with Old English. Since the Normans were busy speaking French after 1066, grammarians paid no attention to Yee Olde Englische. As a consequence, the majority of the "Saxon" grammar fell away. That's why we have such delights as "The Dog's Hat" rather than an entire case (Genitive) which exists in many Germanic Languages, such as German.

But in Irish schools, little to no emphasis is paid to these basic areas. Whereas when we learn foreign languages, a suitable amount of grammar is required to gain proficiency.

I wasn't informed that Irish had Noun Genders until the week before my LC Exam.

Rote Learning is the Irish Education System's instrument of choice. Pearse's Murder Machine idea has never been more true.
 

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