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Is learning grammar important? Show more Show less
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Grammar has long been seen as the foundation of our language, but whether it is necessary for it to be specifically studied is often overlooked. Is learning grammar necessary for learning how to read and write? Is it necessary for learning other languages? How extensively should grammar be taught, if at all?

Learning grammar is not important Show more Show less

Learning grammar is a waste of time. It does not help students learn how to communicate better. It only causes more confusion and slows down the process of learning how to read and write.
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Grammar does not need to be taught because it is intuitive

We already learn proper grammar simply through language acquisition. By practicing reading, writing, and speaking, we learn better how to hone our skills to become more effective at communication. Studying grammar only impedes student progress.
Education English Grammar Language

The Argument

From the time we are infants, we are constantly learning language and meaning. Language acquisition is intuitive in that we learn it by listening to it and speaking it. Only by immersing ourselves in our language do we begin to get a grasp of proper sentence structure. This learning process is natural and cannot be taught in overly-structured classes; in fact, this can even impede and confuse the language-learning process.[1] We learn meaning through context. One can be given a list of words to memorize, but out of context these are hard to retain. Only through encountering the words "in the wild" and using it in its proper context can the words be internalized. This, again, is an intuitive process and cannot be taught, nor does it need to be taught because it is as instinctual to humans as breathing. Proper sentence structure is also learned through intuition. By listening and speaking, we pick up on speech patterns and start to learn what sounds correct and what sounds incorrect.[2] There may, of course, be small dialectical differences between the ways that two people speak, but this does not mean that one person's way of speaking is more legitimate than another's. As long as we understand one another, there is no correct or incorrect answer, and generally we do understand one another without grammar instruction.

Counter arguments

A significant part of language may be learned intuitively, but only through the study of grammar can we learn to master the art of articulation. Anyone who wants to communicate as effectively and influentially as possible will benefit the most from studying sentence structure and how to formulate concise but powerful statements. Simply knowing what "sounds right" versus what "sounds wrong" is not enough. One needs to understand why something sounds right or wrong in order to internalize the standards in speech patterns and use them effectively. Miscommunication happens all of the time, and this is mostly due to poor speech patterns being exercised. This can be minimized, if not eliminated, by explicitly understanding the rules of grammar.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Language and grammar are learned intuitively and do not need to be taught. [P2] We tend to know what "sounds right" and what "sounds wrong" when they hear people talk. [P3] We can generally understand one another just fine without grammar instruction.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Grammar needs to be taught in order to master the art of communication. [Rejecting P2] Simply knowing what "sounds right" or "sounds wrong" is not enough if one doesn't understand why something sounds right or wrong. [Rejecting P3] Miscommunication happens often. We can learn to avoid it by learning proper grammar.

References

  1. https://www.strategiesinlanguagelearning.com/intuition-in-language-learning/
  2. https://effortlessenglishclub.com/learn-english-grammar-intuitively
This page was last edited on Monday, 26 Oct 2020 at 13:36 UTC

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