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Nick Gibb on R4 gets grammar question wrong!

Discussion in 'Education news' started by aspen_1, May 3, 2016.

  1. aspen_1

    aspen_1 New commenter

    Well what a surprise! Nick Gibb on the World at One was asked a grammar question from a Key Stage 2 paper and got it wrong! Says it all really.
    delnon, Shedman and chelsea2 like this.
  2. Benbamboo

    Benbamboo Occasional commenter

    What question?
  3. aspen_1

    aspen_1 New commenter

    The question related to the use of the word after.

    I went to the cinema after I had eaten my dinner.

    Is the word after in this sentence being used as a subordinating conjunction or a preposition?

    Nick Gibb: a preposition

    Martha Kearney: (barely suppressed giggles) Err...no it isn't!
  4. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Was just about t post this!!
    From BBC news website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36188634
    It's a hoot!!

    Schools minister Nick Gibb was given a question on BBC Radio 4's World at One from a grammar test for 11 year olds

    Martha Kearney: Let me give you this sentence: I went to the cinema, after I'd eaten my dinner. Is the word "after" there being used as a subordinating conjunction or a preposition?

    Nick Gibb: Well it's a preposition.

    Martha Kearney: I don't think it is

    Nick Gibb: "After" is a preposition. It can be used in some contexts as a word that coordinates a sub-clause, but this isn't about me.

    Martha Kearney: But I think in this sentence it's being used as a subordinating conjunction

    Nick Gibb: Fine, well this isn't about me, this is about ensuring that future generations of children - unlike me incidentally, who was not taught grammar at primary school.....

    Martha Kearney: Perhaps not.

    Nick Gibb: ...We need to make sure that future generations of children are taught grammar.")
    eljefeb90, peggylu, Shedman and 2 others like this.
  5. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    To be honest, before this gaffe, he had sounded convincing, peddling the old statements about 'holding schools to account' and 'giving extra help to those that need it'. He showed no understanding that, if you make teachers super-accountable and mere deliverers of the overly-prescribed curriculum, they and their school leaders will inevitably pass on this stress to the kids, try as we might not to. Stressed and straight-jacketed teachers aren't conducive to good educational outcomes. Data rules again. I wish someone with a bit of emotional intelligence and some classroom experience would listen to us!
    Shedman and guinnesspuss like this.
  6. aspen_1

    aspen_1 New commenter

    The papers are beginning to pick up on this now:

    The Telegraph
  7. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    'Mr Gibb replied: "Fine. But it isn’t about me. This is about ensuring that future generations of children [are taught grammar] – unlike me, incidentally, who was not taught grammar at primary school.

    "We need to make sure that future generations are taught grammar properly, so that when they are asked to write at secondary school, when they go to university and are asked to write an essay, it isn’t a struggle to construct a properly grafted and grammatically correct sentence."'


    Yet he, and many, many others, who were not taught grammar - at least to this ridiculous level - are able to 'construct a properly grafted and grammatically correct sentence'.

    Funny, that!
  8. DaveUnusual

    DaveUnusual New commenter

    Shedman likes this.
  9. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    The lack of grammar lessons at school didn't stop him becoming a minister of state. How many thousands of other people out there who didn't 'benefit' from grindingly tedious grammar instruction at schools have risen to prestigious positions?
    delnon and George_Randle like this.
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Oh dear, Mr Gibb

    Shedman and emerald52 like this.
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Can I say I didn't learn this type of grammar, and it hasn't held me back.

    Could I give a fig about what the government wants us to learn? Nope...
    SteveKindle, Shedman and emerald52 like this.
  12. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Sadly, the children, and the teachers who have to teach this, don't have that option.
    delnon likes this.
  13. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    I got it right - but I have gotten 'potatoe' wrong before!
    SteveKindle likes this.
  14. BuyDissertationProposal

    BuyDissertationProposal New commenter

    informative post
  15. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    I quite agree. It hasn't held you back, or him, or me, or any number of other hugely successful people.

    The fact that he didn't realise that point immediately demonstrates not only his poor grasp of grammar, but also his poor grasp of logic, which is far more worrying.
    Shedman likes this.
  16. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    You don't need to know what something is called in order to use it correctly. What annoys me about the government's preferred approach to the teaching of English in general is that it doesn't teach children to be clear and articulate. The government is obsessed with children being taught what things are called rather than how to use them correctly, and when to use them. Primary children write meaningless garbage which gets marks for using interesting words and complex grammar, but unfortunately often those thiongs make the writing worse rather than better, incomprehensible rather than easy to understand.
    Shedman likes this.
  17. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    As a language teacher - and especially in German - I found it helpful when students did actually know grammatical terms before they started to learn the language. Having to teach that as well as German grammar made the task that much harder.

    I just wonder which sink school Nick Giobb attended which left him so poorly educated?
    Shedman likes this.
  18. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Maidstone Grammar School :oops:
    bevdex, delnon and Shedman like this.

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