Grammar – ugh! Every student’s least favorite subject. And many a teacher’s too. This is not a surprise because it’s often boring, tedious, and confusing to teach. But despite your misgivings, teaching grammar is still important in 2024 because it contributes to student success in a variety of subject areas.
With the rise of technology and a series of digital aids that make perfecting writing easier than getting everyone logged into their Chromebooks, it would be easy to dismiss teaching grammar as no longer important.
Autocorrect fixes most errors before you even see them. Spell check highlights the rest, and editing programs like ProWritingAid and Grammarly identify grammatical errors and make suggestions for improvement. And, of course, we can’t forget the role that AI plays in creating content today.
It almost seems like knowing grammar rules is superfluous. Why, you may wonder, with all these tools, is teaching grammar still important today? I’ll tell you.
5 Reasons Why Teaching Grammar Is Important Today:
1. Grammar builds strong communication skills
Grammar is like the skeleton of language. It holds every sentence, paragraph, and paper together. Without this solid foundation to support communication, messages become weak, wobbly, and fall apart.
Explicitly teaching grammar ensures students have the foundational skills necessary to communicate effectively. When students follow and apply conventional grammar rules, they can communicate their thoughts and ideas more clearly. This makes it easier to convey important information in both written and spoken form.
Teaching grammar isn’t just about following rules. It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about making sure students can make their ideas heard and understood. In addition, good grammar increases credibility, making people more likely to respect you and your message.
2. Grammar improves reading comprehension
Letters come together to form words, words come together to form sentences, and sentences come together to form paragraphs. These components are not thrown together randomly. Being familiar with the grammar rules that govern these combinations improves reading comprehension.
Teaching grammar helps students develop an understanding of syntax, the way that words and phrases are combined to form sentences. Students learn that sentences have a subject and predicate and that nouns make up the subject and verbs make up the predicate. An understanding of these basic grammar rules helps students read more accurately.
Reading accurately is important for comprehension. Even if students can’t verbalize the rules, when they understand basic grammar rules, they can self-correct mistakes they find in their reading, which leads to improved reading comprehension.
3. Grammar fosters digital literacy
Let’s talk for a minute about Grammarly, spellcheck, and autocorrect. These tools are great. But they are just that–tools that help us to communicate. They can’t communicate for us. That’s why teaching grammar is crucial to using these tools properly.
A solid grasp of grammar is essential for getting the most out of digital tools. In most cases, the tools aren’t going to create the content. Students need to have a basic understanding of grammar before they can even begin using these tools. The tools can only work if the information they are fed makes sense. While it is true that AI can create content, AI doesn’t always have a firm grasp of conventional grammar rules either. And if you want the content that AI spits out to make sense, you need to be able to assess it.
It’s also not unusual for these tools to get it wrong. How often do you dismiss a suggestion or have to go back and change something that autocorrect “fixed’ for you? Teaching grammar ensures that students know the right rules so they can correct the computer’s mistakes.
4. Grammar supports language development
Grammar is the foundation of language. Teaching grammar helps students to understand how language is built. This not only helps them understand English and communicate more effectively, but it also prepares them for learning a second language.
When students understand how grammar rules work in English, they can apply them to a new language. In a global community, fluency in multiple languages is becoming increasingly important.
5. Grammar supports academic and career success
You know that grammar is included in your state standards and assessed on standardized tests. And regardless of what you think of testing, you know you need to teach it to ensure students’ academic success.
But beyond test scores, teaching grammar equips students with the tools they need to communicate effectively. This is crucial for every step of academic success–from creating a story and writing a research report to giving a presentation and writing a college essay.
Furthermore, the need for clear and effective communication does not end when a student graduates. Communication skills are some of the most important for employees. Writing emails, drafting proposals, creating pitch decks, compiling reports, giving speeches, onboarding new employees–clear communication is required for just about every facet of work.
Teaching grammar today ensures that students have the skills they need for career success in the future.
A bonus reason to teach grammar today
Lastly, when you emphasize the importance of good grammar, you help students learn to pay attention to details.
Grammar rules are precise. Does the comma go inside or outside of the quotation marks? Do I need a semicolon or a period? Teaching grammar helps students notice small details.
This is important not only because of where you place a comma but because being focused on small details leads to sharper, more thoughtful students. These skills carry over into math, problem-solving, reading, and more.
Teaching grammar doesn’t just help kids develop better grammar skills but also helps them be more focused, careful, and deliberate in their work.
Easy-to-Use Grammar Lessons
Now that you know how important teaching grammar is, I want to help you make teaching grammar easier than ever. My new and improved year-long grammar bundles for grades 2-5 contain a year’s worth of done-for-you grammar lessons and activities that you can teach in 10 minutes a day.
Each week follows the same routine and includes:
- a ready-to-use PowerPoint mini lesson
- an interactive notebook activity with simple cuts
- a grammar writing prompt to put those new skills to the test
- task cards
- an assessment – both printable and self-checking digital options
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There you have it . . . 5 reasons why teaching grammar today is still important. And done-for-you resources to make this important subject a piece of cake to teach.
Have a Not So Wimpy Day,