Teaching English and why it matters
You’re probably wondering why a Maths and Science tutor is writing about English? Apart from also providing English tuition here at MST, I also happen to think the ability to read and to write well is becoming increasingly important.
The regular English language as known by the previous generations has been under assault for many years. Well, some argue assault, while others say it’s been expanding.
For me, I’m not sure which, if either, is correct. There are many words that are added to the Oxford English Dictionary each year which are still a little boggling for this forty-something tutor! For example, the most recent OED updates included hangry and mansplaining.
Now, it may well be that I have both of those things in my life, but I’m not sure they belong in the dictionary. Or do they?
For every person that claims the erosion of the English language, there will be another who talks enrichment. And they may have a point.
However, where I think we go down a darker road is when ‘text speak’ finds its way into regular communication.
OMG dats wicked was one example I was sent in an email where frankly, the sender knew better…. LOL. You see, it’s catching!
But on a more serious note, it doesn’t really matter how much mental horsepower our children and students possess, if they can’t string a meaningful sentence together.
Fortunately for anyone having the misfortune to read my missives and musings (I should have been a doctor, maybe?), handwriting is increasingly less relevant in day to day life, as email and digital communication has rendered my pen all but redundant.
Yet, that isn’t going to help when it comes to writing applications, personal statements and the in-depth answering of questions during exams. You can’t get away with Messenger or text slang in an exam, or most other places that matter. You simply won’t be taken seriously or get the response you’re looking for. Not this year anyway.
I very much hope that I don’t have to eat those words in years to come!
There’s no denying the power of a rich and meaningful grasp of language, which is why, as important as Maths and the Sciences are, I feel English must not be overlooked, or sidelined.
As we commence the new academic year, we’ll me making more slots available for English tuition, to ensure that students are able to represent themselves in the best possible light.
As ever, if I can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Meanwhile, TTFN. See what I did there?