Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Vast and Varied World of Language

Thank you to Rachel for demonstrating recently that it is possible to use ‘pedantic’ and the F-bomb, use them well, creatively and (in my opinion) appropriately, and use them in the same sentence. It is worth mentioning that Rachel is a 10th grader at my school. Gratefully, the sentence wasn’t directed at me; I don’t have her in class this year.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t know what ‘pedantic’ meant when I was in the 10th grade. I’m absolutely certain I would not have been able to combine it as well as Rachel did with an F-bomb. I’m a big fan of the creative and intelligent use of language—in all its forms. I care more about the ability of my students to use their words well than I do that they respect all the rules of language. Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely think it’s important for people to know how to speak and write effectively, and that means knowing the rules of the language they’re using, but there is some wisdom to the contention that students will learn those rules if they’re taught to think about how to use language creatively.

Do the English teachers disagree?

3 comments:

mrschili said...

This English teacher doesn't disagree. It's the question between rote learning and on-the-job training, as it were. Both have their places, but I think the latter is the more effective kind of process.

I'd be curious to hear the actual sentence (and it's your blog - you can actually write "f**k" if you want, you know...)

stay-at-home mommy said...

I'd like to hear (read) the actual sentence too! ;)

mrschili said...

So... you're not going to tell us?