Knowing the difference between nouns and pronouns may seem insignificant now, but in the long run, it may affect current grades, college acceptances and career plans.
Between the 2008 and 2009 testing season, Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) scores for 8th graders who scored above average in reading increased from 76% to 83%, according to the Michigan Department of Education.
But with technological advances like texting, and social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, some say grammar has taken a back seat.
Some common short-hands that people have begun to use, like replacing “you” with “u” and “are” with “r”, are impacting their learning and their career.
And now those bad habits are making their way to assignments and even college application essays.
“That’s not good,” Loyola University (Chicago) Admissions Counselor Andrew Bourgeois said.
“[Grammar] has an impact,” Bourgeois said. “It would alter the view of how someone reviewing [an application] would look at the applicant.”
And that, Bourgeois said, could impact a student’s chances of getting into the school.
Grammar’s importance isn’t limited to college applications.
According to Jon Dean, the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Birmingham Public Schools, grammar is a main factor in choosing a candidate for a job.
“Grammar is very important,” Dean said in an e-mail to the Highlander. “Misspellings and poor grammar reflect poorly on a candidate. We look for high quality grammar since the ability to communicate in writing is an important skill.”
With the availability of spell checking applications and easy access to word processing software, grammatical errors on a resume or cover letter are preventable—but immediate, — disqualifiers.
“Especially given the current tight job market, grammar is something a candidate should never make an error regarding,” Dean said.
Even at Seaholm, grammar affects not only how students do in English classes, but in foreign language classes.
Spanish teacher Cathy Buch praised the work of the Seaholm English Department, but added that some students still come into her classroom unprepared to learn a foreign language. When a student lacks English grammar mastery, Buch said it’s more difficult for them to grasp the Spanish concepts.
“[Knowing English grammar] gives students a basis for comparison [to learning Spanish],” Buch said.
Junior Anna Ames said she was unprepared for her foreign language learning. She said she found it difficult to learn a foreign language with only a small amount of English grammar.
“I’ve learned all of my [English] grammar in Spanish [class],” Ames said.
Chinese teacher Joy Wang doesn’t see a direct correlation between English grammar and Chinese grammar. She said students do not need to know proper English grammar to grasp the Chinese language.
“Chinese and English grammar is completely different,” Wang said. “Chinese grammar is easier.”
Spanish and Chinese student Kellie Howe said English grammar had little impact on learning a foreign language.
“I think I have proper English grammar,” said Howe, a junior. “[But], the grammar in Chinese is insane compared to English and the grammar in Spanish, I just don’t understand.”