Does Grammar Still Matter?
In the age of auto-correct, when kids (big kids included) communicate using platforms that rely on disposable content and image-heavy messaging, you may find yourselves wondering whether grammar really matters.
After all, when push comes to shove, do kids really need to learn how to place the perfect comma or identify a subordinate clause? And does it really matter if they can’t tell the difference between “their”, “there” or “they’re”?
The answer is yes. In fact, given the amount of communication that takes place via text message, email and social media, grammar may be more important today than it has been in years.
Gone are the days when kids would knock on each other’s door in an effort to coordinate social activities or study groups. Today, many students coordinate their social activities using tools like text, Facebook messenger, Snapchat or What’s App. They don’t speak about which movie to see, they text about it. They don’t need to recount in person what happened over the weekend because they’ve already shared the news via social media.
As the frequency of messaging has increased, so has the speed at which friends demand a response. Full-length conversations have been replaced by short sentences made up of words squished into abbreviations like NBD (no big deal), OMW (on my way) or ICYMI (in case you missed it). Legible between friends, these conversations are doing little to teach children the importance of forming a proper sentence. It’s all well and good when they’re at school among peers but what happens when the audience shifts from classmates… to colleagues?
Set them up for success
The repercussions of bad grammar can, in fact, be felt years before your child is under the microscope of a university admissions board or potential employer. For example without using proper punctuation when writing a history essay or book report your child’s teacher won’t know where to take a pause (see what we did there). In fact, the entire sentence might not make cents scents sense.
Now fast forward to cover letters and job applications. Recruiters receive hundreds of applications from students fighting for the same job, and with merely a couple seconds to glance over each CV and cover letter, poor grammar or spelling is the easiest way to get an application tossed aside. Keep in mind that employers today often double check social platforms to learn more about future hires.
From subject-verb agreements to the use of a comma in a compound sentence, as your kids progress through their academic and professional career, their understanding of good grammar will equate to their ability to be understood. Encouraging them to use proper grammar and sentence structure now is an important step in setting your child up for academic and professional success.