Is Teaching and Learning Grammar a Waste of Time?

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

The purpose of learning grammar is to write something beautiful. Or persuasive. Or inspirational. Or . . . . Fill in the blank. Authors strive for clarity, but writing is also an art. Grammar knowledge is like having a number of gadgets in your toolbox to help you get the job done. If you want to build a beautiful piece of furniture--say a patio table that will seat your guests for long, summer dinners--you need to have the right tools. Furniture has function, of course, but it also has style. Do you want the top of your table to have a beveled edge? Why? Your choice to stain the wood instead of paint it is grounded in a stylistic or functional purpose. Writing is the same! How can an author use words, syntax, and grammar to bring about an emotion in his reader? When should you start a sentence with an adverbial phrase? What effect does a long string of dependent clauses have on the advancement of an idea or theme? So, teaching and learning grammar is not a waste of time. To communicate well, and with a stylistic and functional purpose, writers need to understand how to use the tools of the trade--nouns, verbs, semicolons, oh my!

If you'd like a class that is not a drill and kill grammar class, but one where we focus on how a writer can purposefully manipulate conventions and language for a determined purpose, check out the Grammar & Sentences class options here. We will spend time on sentence construction and sentence combining while analyzing literature and clear informative writing to see how it all works. We will use classic and some modern literature as exemplars in our study of language and conventions. This class is for students who want to take their writing to the next level, or for those that have trouble with the coherent construction of sentences.

We will determine which tool we need to write something beautiful!

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