An example of research on the efficacy of EGT

EGT = Explicit grammar teaching. Someone posted this to the moretprs list:


>report to the Carnegie Corporation called WRITINGNEXT: EFFECTIVE



>By Steve Graham and Dolores Perin. It is an excellent report and I’m

>learning a lot about the importance of teaching our students to think

>and communicate. Among other thigns, they did a meta-analysis of

>research and distilled 11 strategies that are effective in improving

>the quality of student writing.


>After the list of what *does* work, I found this note (asterisks are




>”A Note About Grammar Instruction:


>Grammar instruction in the studies reviewed involved the explicit and

>systematic teaching of the parts of speech and structure of


>The meta-analysis found an effect for this type of instruction for

>students across the full range of ability, but surprisingly, this

>effect was *negative*. This negative effect was small, but it was

>statistically significant, indicating that traditional grammar

>instruction is unlikely to help improve the quality of students’

>writing. Studies specifically examining the impact of grammar

>instruction with low-achieving writers also yielded negative results

>(Anderson, 1997; Saddler & Graham, 2005). Such findings raise serious

>questions about some educators’ enthusiasm for traditional grammar

>instruction as a focus of writing instruction for adolescents.”

Just in case some teachers have never seen even an abstract of research, here’s an example. While there are certainly some research items that indicate a positive outcome for EGT, most show a less than sterling value to EGT. I would think it would at least make people who swear by grammar instruction think.

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