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  • Writer's pictureKatie Millan

Punctuation and Grammar: Saving language skills from the jaws of extinction.

In a world where emojis reign and autocorrect takes the spotlight, the state of punctuation and grammar may seem like a tragic comedy. This has only become more and more real to me watching my 12-year-old daughter write assignments with the language skill of an 8 year old. Commas are non-existant, capitals are spattered throughout without a care as to when and why. As a concerned parent, it's disheartening to witness your daughter's struggle with these crucial language skills. So let's explore the reasons behind their decline and discover practical solutions to rescue them from the brink of extinction.

Empty school chairs in a classroom

1. The Digital Revolution and Language Casualties:

In this era of lightning-fast communication through social media and instant messaging, punctuation and grammar have become casualties of brevity and informality. Quick responses and character limits often trump linguistic correctness, leading to the downfall of these fundamental language skills.

2. Prioritising Content Over Structure:

Education today places a significant emphasis on content creation, encouraging students to express their ideas freely. While creativity is essential, the focus on generating content can overshadow the importance of proper grammar and punctuation. The building blocks of language can be left crumbling in the background.

3. Time Constraints and Limited Resources:

In the race to cover a wide range of subjects and meet curriculum standards, teachers face time constraints and limited resources. The intricacies of grammar and punctuation may not receive the attention they deserve. Consequently, these skills can be relegated to the back burner, overshadowed by other pressing academic demands.

How we can help stop the decline:

Reviving Language Lessons:

Let's give punctuation and grammar their rightful place in the limelight! Schools should allocate dedicated time for focused language lessons. By highlighting the importance of these skills, teachers can provide structured guidance, ensuring students receive the necessary foundation for effective communication.

Harnessing the Power of Technology:

While technology may contribute to the decline of language skills, it can also be a valuable ally in their restoration. Introduce digital tools and applications that offer interactive exercises and quizzes for practicing grammar and punctuation. By blending education and technology, we can make learning engaging and enjoyable.

Cultivating Writing Excellence:

Writing workshops are the stage where language skills can shine. Encourage students to participate in writing activities that foster creativity while reinforcing proper grammar and punctuation. Teachers can provide constructive feedback, addressing errors and guiding students toward improvement.

Embracing the Magic of Reading:

Reading is the enchanting potion that nourishes language skills. Encourage regular reading habits, exposing children to well-crafted sentences, proper grammar usage, and diverse writing styles. By immersing themselves in literature, students absorb language patterns and develop a natural instinct for correct punctuation and grammar.

Young students reading Harry Potter books

Collaborative Efforts for Success:

Reviving punctuation and grammar requires a collaborative performance. Parents, teachers, and schools must join forces to address the issue. Maintain open communication channels, share concerns, and develop strategies that reinforce language skills both at school and home. Together, we can create an environment that nurtures linguistic proficiency.

The decline of punctuation and grammar may seem like a tragic tale, but it's not yet the final act. By recognising the factors contributing to this decline and implementing practical solutions, we can revive these essential language skills. Let us reclaim the power of punctuation and grammar, ensuring our children possess the tools to communicate effectively, succeed academically, and navigate the linguistic landscape with confidence.


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