The South African Department recently reiterated that it has no intention to remove the teaching of grammar from the school syllabus. The separate assessment of grammar in the exam will be removed though.
This announcement came in the midst of an outcry from the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa), stating that the scrapping of grammar teaching in schools was “problematic” because it would negatively affect literacy, particularly among second language students.
Spokesman for the Department of Basic Education, Graham Whittle said this change is part of an international trend to move away from teaching grammar as a “stand alone”, towards the integration of grammar into the writing and reading components would allow grammar to be taught “in context”.
Naptosa criticized this decision and felt to relegate grammar in this way would neglect two factors:
- Literacy levels of learners in the formal schooling system have been shown [repeatedly] to be particularly poor.
- For the majority of learners in South Africa, the language of learning and teaching is English, which in most cases is their second, or even third, language.”
The development of competence in grammar was therefor crucial for education across all other subjects.
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