Let's Rethink How We Teach English

Kids can't write, and it's getting worse
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2010 1:54 PM CDT
The lack of English skills among college students is no joke, says a first-year instructor.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Take it from a first-year college instructor: The writing skills of young adults are a joke. "They have either forgotten the rules of writing, or they never learned them in the first place," writes Kara Miller of Babson College. And while the media focuses on the need for better science teachers, "finding, coaching, and retaining good English teachers is an underreported struggle," she writes in the Boston Globe.

Fixing students' lousy writing is both a complex and essential job, "which may mean rethinking the way writing is taught in high school—and, perhaps, the way teachers are compensated." It's easy to laugh off the problem in the age of Twitter, but "in an increasingly digital world, writing acts as a vehicle for knowledge—giving it short shrift in the classroom is a serious mistake."

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