On Thursday 06 March 2003 4:29 pm, Mike Ellis wrote: > Tristan wrote: > >Mike Ellis wrote: > >> "We don't correct spelling. It hinders students' creativity." > > The sad thing is that the attitude I quoted above is actually catching > on. The result is that the kids, by not being forced to learn the right way > to spell, have more difficulty learning to *read* the language. That's why > they don't bother reading books for enjoyment anymore. We set them up for > illiteracy from the start. > > >The written language is the tool of the people, not vice-versa. > > So anything the kids use between themselves is correct? Should the class > teach the teacher how to spell? They are after all, on the cutting edge of > what's current in the language. I don't think so. If correct use of the > language and spelling are not criteria for grading an English assignment, > what criteria are there at all? Remember we're talking about English class, > not Creative Writing. > > >> "Next year we won't correct wrong answers in math either." > > > >Ah, but the method is more important than the answers! :P > > Without the correct answers, you still fail the test. Try it. > > >> "Let's face it, we're nothing anymore but babysitters. We've had your > >> kid six hours a day for twelve years and he still says 'with she and I'. > >> We give up." > > > >Highly unlikely that they'd ever do it. And if idiot (that's my opinion > >at least!) prescriptivists never told people to say 'no! It's not "me > >and him"! It's "he and I"!', that kind of thing would never happen in > >the first place, so it's the correction that's causing the error :P > > The problem is not correction alone, it's correction between people who > don't actually know what a subject or an object *is*. These things are not > taught anymore. > When people do not know how thier language works, it is more difficult to > learn how other languages work. Back in grade ten (yes, that is what tenth > grade is called here, don't even *think* about that tangent) I had to give > up trying to explain Japanese word order to a fellow student who had been > asking me some questions about the language. He didn't know what subject > and object are. His *universe* was SVO, and English word order was to him > the correct chronological representation of events. "Well why don't they > just say it the right way around, so you don't have to remember all that > stuff?" Sigh. > I remember my teacher tried to teach us the "he and I" vs. "him and me" > difference in grade twelve. So she had to introduce all the concepts of > subject, object, object of a preposition, etc. Which had been completely > left out of the curriculum up until that point. Get this: walking home, I > remember hearing one student tell the other "no, it's *always* 'he and I'. > We just learned that today." Maybe Linguistics should be taught, but in a descriptivist sense, not a prescriptivist. Maybe people should be taught to analyse their own language, not the language of the victorians. And, incidentally, we learnt what a verb is, what a noun is, what a subject is, what the passive voice is, and so on in the primary school.