Language as putty : thinking creatively about grammar
Abstract: It seems the 'grammar question' is a perennial one, discussed and contested in every generation. Here, in England, grammar is firmly part of the National Curriculum for English, but it is not by any means firmly part of what happens in English classrooms. In Australia, the development of a new National Curriculum, with its emphasis on language and grammar, is re-igniting the debate there. And having presented the ideas in this paper at the International Federation for the Teaching of English conference in Auckland in April, it is very evident that the debate is also alive and well in New Zealand and the USA. At the heart of this question are very differing views of what grammar is for and very deeply-held beliefs about language. This paper will outline the findings of a large project we have conducted in England which set out to explore the role of grammar in teaching writing.