Grammar Is Important

Grammar is important – especially to gifted students. Are teachers cheating gifted students by ignoring grammar?

Grammar is included in the common core so I teach it of course, and before that, I taught grammar to high school students.

They did not care for it much, as I never did as a student. (As a teacher, I love it). Grammar is so important though – massively – which is probably why the common core addresses it.

What about my gifted students? As a teacher, I care about every student on the spectrum.

I think a huge misconception concerning gifted students is that they will survive, they will be fine. Gifted students have special needs. Teaching grammar may be one way to reach them.

I read Raising a Gifted Child a few months ago. (It is a valuable book for all teachers and parents). These paragraphs struck me, because I worry that students without grammar knowledge are unprepared writers:

Unfortunately, in many K-12 schools, grammar is not taught as it was a generation or two ago. In fact, many younger teachers are very uncomfortable broaching the subject, as it was not something that they were adequately taught when they were students. There are many basic grammar sites at universities that contain the information that was once considered standard fare in middle school. Because of the absence of this subject in schools, all students, including gifted students, often miss out on a key component of their education.

Those who don’t have a good grasp of grammar frequently use words incorrectly. We should not deprive intellectually able children of the opportunity to master the English language. Grammar is an essential tool for speaking and writing. (It also is very helpful when trying to attain high scores on college entrance exams).

Raising a Gifted Child by Carol Fertig (2009, Prufrock Press).

This sums my thoughts on grammar. What foreign language class does not teach grammar? Won’t gifted students (and many others!) benefit from grammar instruction?
What student does not benefit from understanding his or her language from the inside out? The answer is none, and grammar is important for a solid, well-rounded education.

I want to make grammar real, and I think teachers want to have an honest discussion about grammar. Grammar is important, and it may be especially so for the gifted community.

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