The multiple benefits of learning grammar for school children

learning grammar
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Ah, grammar… It appears in our childhood from primary education, then disappears from our lives, unless of course we become a French teacher, or a passionate linguist. In truth, we learned to speak long before discovering its rules, and we do not necessarily make the effort to apply them in our daily lives. This school subject is often poorly perceived by students: they do not understand its usefulness and the advantages that its mastery can bring. Why learn grammar at school? Here are 6 excellent reasons that will motivate children to open their Bescherelle.

What is grammar? It is the set of rules for organizing words and sentences in a language, according to the Larousse dictionary.

Learning grammar at school is compulsory

Do we have a choice? This subject is part of the National Education programs. It is a pillar of the lessons of “mastery of the French language”. We work on it from CE1 and its teaching continues until high school. In CM1-CM2, this represents an hourly volume of approximately 3 hours per week if spelling and conjugation are included. This is called “language study”. There is even, recently, a question of grammar in the oral French baccalaureate.

At the beginning, we observe, we understand and we explicitly name its different components. Students learn to distinguish between the nature of words and their function in the sentence. It’s about making sense of all the terminology and using it in reading or writing exercises.

So all school children must do grammar, even if it is not a very motivating argument in itself, it may be necessary to remember it!

What children should learn:

– The nature of words, or grammatical class. They must be able to recognize a noun, an adjective, a determiner, etc.

– The function of words, or rather groups of words. They must be able to identify their role in the sentence: subject, verb, complement.

Taming grammar helps you read better

We would not say, and yet: all this work initiated from an early age helps us in understanding what we read. By learning punctuation, for example, we can recognize reported words using quotation marks.

Of course, for everyday reading, we don’t really need to appeal to our grammatical skills, but for more detailed reading, it can be very useful. Have a look:

In “Camille came alone”, the “e” in “venue” and that in “alone” tell us that Camille is a girl. It is thanks to our knowledge of the agreement of the past participle and the adjective with the noun that we can understand that this “e” is a mark of the feminine relating to Camille.

Thus, to progress in reading comprehension and to approach more specialized texts of literature, it is good to perfect your grammar.

Knowing the grammar rules helps to express yourself correctly

Oral language is a language “in situation” which is less demanding. We can safely omit the negatives.

Mastering grammar promotes fluency in writing

This is perhaps the most “visible” reason through mastery of spelling. This involves understanding the nature of the words (for example, we know that if it is a verb, it agrees with its subject) and their function in the sentence. Thus, grammatical reflection makes it possible to avoid spelling “mistakes”. Remember that learning to write without errors gives us a basic skill that is essential in all professional activities. What job doesn’t involve sending a report, note or email to a client?

Beyond spelling accuracy, we produce richer texts when we use our knowledge of grammar and we become able to improve our writing on our own. For example, adding adjectives or complements is a simple trick to obtain more consistent writing. It is still necessary to have grasped the notion of essential or optional complement, and it is in class that this is played out. One more point in favor of grammar exercises!

Understanding grammar makes it easier to learn a foreign language

It is possible to speak a new language without going through the grammar box, as with French. But when you discover German in sixth grade, for example, you do not benefit from this lexical bath. To construct correct sentences, one must first master the codes of the language. Then, one deliberately carries out the linguistic constructions to express oneself precisely.

Let us illustrate this: to understand the use and the place of the adjective in English, it is necessary to know how to recognize it. Thus, the grammar lessons of CM1 are directly used in these courses from college, it is an interesting argument.

Understanding grammar develops analytical skills

Speech comes to us on its own, but not grammar. This uses a specific vocabulary that must be recorded, replaced, manipulated and which allows us to name abstract concepts. It is by passing through the posture of observer and by formalizing the rules with the teacher that one appropriates these notions. All this work is very good for children’s brains. Their ability to analyze and understand abstract terms is enhanced, and this ability becomes transferable to other contexts, school or not.

In other words, grammar helps build intelligence and that is also why it is so important for our little school children.

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