My first experience with grammar was when I was home schooled in fourth grade. My mom was my teacher and she has always been one who finds great importance in grammar. I grew up with her always correcting anything I spoke that was not grammatically correct and so in fourth grade when I really stated learning that stuff in detail through writing, it became clear what the major do’s and don’ts were. I chose to rant about the words: “their”, “there”, and “they’re”, because when I first learned them my mom made me write out a list of examples of each ones and why each word was important to each sentence in context. It was repetitive and annoying but I realize now how important it is to know and that many people my age still make these common mistakes. I am thankful now for all these repetitive exercises.
Closing Reflection: Literacy is contextual, and context is interpretation.
When it comes to being literate, most people in our culture are. For years now our government has required children to attend school up to at least an eighth grade level. I think this is a great thing because in today’s society it would be impossible to function normally and obtain a career if someone were illiterate. Being able to simply read and write is so important to our society today. To me, being literate more so means to have a good interpretation of reading and writing. I believe you shouldn’t just be able to read and write but you should be able to read and interpret well and write in a way that clearly communicates and portrays an intended message. Good writing is so important in today’s society.
How does one describe good writing? There are many different forms of writing and every writer has their own individual style of writing. What I interpret as good writing is writing that can not only spark my interest, and hold my attention, but that can make me understand why and what the person is writing about. Along with this, good writing should paint a picture in the reader’s head of what they are reading on the page. One thing that I have always found in good writing is personalization. As a reader I don’t just want words on a page telling me about something, I want to be able to make some relation between the writing and the writer. One annoying thing that I have never found in good quality writing but that I notice in really bad writing is unnecessary repetition. I hate reading something once and then reading that exact same general idea explained in a different way a few lines later, it’s just fluff.
One element of good writing is good grammar. I myself am a bit of a grammar freak and hate it when people make common and very obvious grammar mistakes. Its one thing to personalize writing with intentional misuses of words, grammar or spelling, but besides that, people seriously need to review what they learned in their middle school language arts classes. I mean really, with the simple misuse of the words “their”, “there” or “they’re”… whoever is reading that completely loses context of the sentence or the subject of the sentence. If more people improved upon THEIR grammar, the world would be a better place. And learn how to use their turn signals… just saying.
When it comes to being literate and being a good writer, one has to have been taught well. A lot of times I find myself realizing that what I have been taught in high school about writing and what “good” writing actually is, is wrong. After reading “Teaching as Unteaching” it’s safe to say I more than agree with the fact that teachers end up “unteaching” first semester college students, most of what they learned about writing from high school. It is truly unfortunate that we are taught such things about writing in high school because I feel that for most, the reason people see writing as such a chore is because of the common misconception of the “right” way to write. Teachers in high school have a general curriculum and way they are supposed to teach writing based off of the standardized tests and writing exams given by the state. However, the way they teach us to write to prepare us for those tests and exams isn’t the way that writing is taught to prepare you for writing in the real world.
When I was first learning about grammar, my mom was the one who taught me because I was homeschooled in 4th and 5th grade. I remember her having a strong focus on the “there”, “their”, and “they’re” when it came to context and writing. I wasn’t very good at grammar when I first started learning it but after the exercises she taught me to remember the social tricks of grammar I was able to catch on pretty quickly. Now, however, I consider myself to be a bit of a grammar freak. I think there is great importance in grammar and context in writing which is illustrated by grammar.