Monday, May 05, 2008

Grammar Blather

Curses, in the nicest possible way, to whatever committee of bright sparks decided to remove grammar from the syllabus of my primary school education. It makes learning a new language infinately more frustrating to have to keep thinking 'what do they mean by irregular verb?'. Of course, had I studied English or such in my later years this would not be quite such a challenge, but I have no idea what it means to conjugate. Unless it is something rude? Grrr! The DVD that comes with the German book is quite good though, and I do have an excellent Deutsch learning DVD at home too somewhere. Just have to set aside a few hours each week to going through this all, doing the exercises, and keep trying to catch up.

Need to be much more disciplined in general with this whole study thing. And so, the New Plan! A weekly schedule! Some sort of regular routine, just as if it (my PhD etc) was a proper job! make myself stick to regular working hours! Up at 7, coffee, food, shower, maybe a walk, at desk by 9! Can it be done????



Blogger Beatie said...

LOL, the bright spark's name is Graham Little and he's a personal friend of mine. You'll prolly find you do know the grammar you just don't know what things are called. Try the BBC resoures for grammar and you'll be being a grammar girl and driving people crazy with it before you know it: The Guardian also has some very nice grammar resources:,5607,109745,00.html

And to answer your last question, for me the answer was no, but I spent 7 yrs on a PhD and didn't have a research grant; I lived as a tutor in a college and have always been a chatter box. It doesn't mean the answer will be no for you. For me falling in love and nesting was the end of it. If you don't nest you'll be fine. Good luck. :D

5:58 pm  
Blogger Zoo said...

Whether I know grammar by any other name is not the question- of course I can construct a sentence (heck, they are even letting me have a go at a THESIS). Point was that we have generations of kids who can't so much as capitalise corrrectly, and even more generations of adults like me who couldn't parse or particle anything to save themselves. And it IS important to know how a language works thoroughly, its more than clear expression that is at stake.. and I think this is something that belongs in schools. I would love to know Graham's logic for taking it out of them... most curious. Is certainly worth noting how many people of my generation rue the fact that they didn't have grammar drilled into them!

Don't think being a chatter box has much to do with it- I can TALK 'til the cows come home but convincing myself to commit it all to paper is another matter :) Ah, back to it...


5:49 pm  
Blogger Beatie said...

Ah, well actually your claims of wide spread literacy problems are incorrect. Graham has done 25 yrs of research into that - I was his research assistant for some of it - and the tabloid representation of many children being illiterate or having problems with literacy is not true at all. The tabloids like to drag it up as it's a good way to get people hysterical. If a child with no learning disability has problems with literacy it will have a lot more to do with things like poverty, and other social issues than Graham's syllabus.

Graham is a humanist and I think it would be right to say he thought there were much more important things for children to discuss and learn in school than how to parse a sentence. He's now 78 and not that well, but has been a great teacher and mentor. He was also one of the original Argonauts on ABC radio when he was a little boy. I'd be happy to introduce you if you wanted to talk it through with him.

Seriously, with the right resources you'll be parsing in no time.

Sorry, no, I meant I was a chatterbox and would always sit and chat to people rather than do my research. For me it had a lot to do with not completing that particular degree.

What's your topic and faculty?

Oh and I hope you don't mind me commenting on your blog. Just say if you'd rather I didn't. I enjoy your writing. :D

10:59 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home