Wednesday 4 May 2016

Notes for media people re testing and 'grammar'

Here are 17 tweets I put up on twitter as a guide to media people who haven't understood what's at stake here. Apols they're in the wrong order. It's just a cut and paste job.

Notes for media people:

17. Gibb said primary school children need 'grammar' so they can write essays at university. Could be taught when they're older, then.

16. One powerful way of learning how to write is through imitation, not through naming of parts.

15. If you don't believe there are different versions of grammar, just try 'phrase' and 'clause' ‪#‎fuzzyterms‬

14. There isn't one way to write English. There many kinds of writing.

13 Native speakers of English know most of the 'rules' or patterns of English by the time they are 4.

12. This grammar testing has been hijacked for pupils to have 'summative' testing. 'Formative' testing better for this

11. Even if some of this 'grammar' is helpful,much is only really understood by older pupils.

10. There are much better ways to teach children 'knowledge about language' using 'investigation' and 'interpretation'

9. The stress that some children are going through is not imagined.

8. The terms are being used so children have to include examples of them to write 'well'. This is nonsense.

7. Many of the terms in the tests are not needed or useful for anyone in order to write well.

6. No harm in children knowing a small amount of this stuff. Part of the problem is that there's so much of it.

5. This 'grammar' was selected for tests because supposedly it gives 'right/wrong answers'. Gibb proves that wrong.

4. Linguists themselves disagree over the terms.That's why Nick Gibb got his answer 'wrong'. For some it was 'right'

3. This grammar is not 'the 3 Rs'. It's a set of specific terminology about language.

2. The grammar being tested is not 'the' grammar', or the only grammar. There are different versions.

1. It's not really the children being tested. Their results are being used to test the teachers and the schools.