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Natural disadvantage?

September 11th, 2009 by Emily

When the SAT results were announced recently they showed that levels of attainment in English were lagging well behind those in Science and Maths. What could be the reason behind this?

English is an almost intuitive subject, something those of us born in the UK are exposed to from our very first minute on earth. Most children can speak and understand English to an almost fluent level before education even begins. However, it may be that in learning to speak informally, children also pick up the colloquialisms and 'bad habits' of their parents. When they come to learn grammar the mistakes have to be unpicked and re-taught. Also, this method of natural acquisition only really applies to spoken English, whereas the exams are in written form.

On the opposite side of the fence, Science and Maths are both subjects that need to be acquired. They have very strict rules and regulations that govern what you can and can not do within the subject and only one correct answer. Most crucially they are not learnt by osmosis through everyday life, but only in a classroom scenario - therefore, only the correct methods are taught.

What do you believe are the reasons behind this divide? Do you find that a child's ability to communicate verbally reflects on their written work?

Tags: English, SATs
Categories: Results, Schools, English