However, the sad thing is that the students are themselves aware of their lack. The feedback I receive includes comments such as 'I feel very unsure of grammar and English isn't a strong point'; 'I need a book telling me about nouns, verbs etc' and 'the exercise showed up faults in my use of grammar of which I was not aware'.
It is high time that English teachers returned to the nuts and bolts of the language. How else will children be able to cope with pre-1900 texts such as Jane Eyre, Robinson Crusoe and Wessex Tales (all on the reading list for children aged 11-14) and read them with any degree of enjoyment?
I am sorry, but not surprised, when I find that students from the Far East, for example, have a better grasp of the technicalities of our language than do our own students. Teachers are doing our children a grave disservice if they do not equip them to compete on equal terms, in their own language, with students from other countries.
College of Estate Management