Letter: Success and failure in the teaching of English

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Sir: I was interested to note in Angela Lambert's article a mention of the study of Latin in connection with the construction of language.

At each of the two schools where I taught Latin in the Sixties I was informed by the head of the English department that it would be my responsibility to ensure that all pupils were taught English grammar. Although no Latin teacher would consider the study of the structure of language boring in itself, I suspected at the time that the English staff hoped to avoid a chore and to concentrate on the more appealing pleasures of creative writing and literature.

I'm afraid that the widespread demise of Latin in schools has often resulted in the failure to teach all but the mere rudiments of English grammar.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW1

20 April