How Did We Get Here?: A Study on Grammatical Pedagogy

Below is an excerpt from a paper written for my History of the English Language class. For the full research paper and works cited page, visit the link.

“Nearly a century ago, author George E. De Mille offered “Thoughts of a Reactionary on Grammar,” an article in which he begins, “I hate grammar …. I think it one of the driest, most dismal, most boresome [sic] subjects ever admitted into the high-school curriculum. To study it is torture; to teach it is soul-destroying” (577). One-hundred years later, torture and soul-destroying continues, albeit in different manners. The objective of teaching students grammar is clear for today’s American teachers. How to accomplish the objective is not. The note on student language use within the English Language Arts & Literacy Content Standards reads: “To build a foundation for college and career readiness in language, students must gain control over many conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics as well as learn other ways to use language to convey meaning” (25). How to effectively build this foundation in American schools is a centuries-old debate, with many competing overarching visions.”




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