Grammar lessons are to be introduced to one of the UK’s top performing private schools, amid fears that pupils lack a command of basic English grammar. As the number of pupils struggling with punctuation and spelling increases, St Paul’s Girls’ school in Hammersmith have introduced a ‘crash course’ in grammar.
It has been suggested that the use of mobile phones and the Internet have undermined the correct use of grammar. In addition, it was considered possible that the subject was deemed to be boring, which could prevent primary schools from teaching grammar. The girls at St Paul’s, aged between 11 and 14, will receive lessons in the use of basic grammar every two weeks.
Earlier in the year, the government made an announcement that it was to deduct marks in GCSE examinations for poor punctuation, spelling and grammar, in a bid to raise the standards in the use of English. Poor spelling and grammar can have a detrimental affect on future employment prospects, and even affect a business. An increasing number of business owners with a web presence, outsource content writing to ensure perfect copy.
The school’s head of English, Dr Jonathan Patrick said that among the top errors were comma splicing and misusing common words. He said:
“I think that most young people are dealing with text or writing either through a mobile phone or computer and I do think that standards across the board [are suffering]”
According to Dr Patrick, the use of punctuation is in imminent danger of dying out, as electronic communication becomes increasingly popular.