He becomes or he becomes: how strict do we still have to apply the grammar rules?

The University of Hull in England has asked the professors not to give any more negative marks to students if they make grammatical mistakes while completing their exams. In our country there are also voices calling for less strict supervision of the correct use of the spelling rules.

“Good language can be seen as homogeneous, Northern European, white, masculine and elitist,” is the reasoning of the British university. That is why he wants to move away from too strict a check on respecting the spelling and grammar rules. According to the University of Hull, the requirement to write error-free discriminates against ethnic minorities and students who come from less good schools.

Stimulating social mobility

“As a university, we want to remove educational obstacles, stimulate social mobility and create opportunities for students from different backgrounds,” the university said last week. “Inclusion is one of our core values ​​and we firmly believe that everyone, regardless of ethnicity, should have an opportunity to study and succeed.” Some other universities, such as Worcester, have already indicated that they may wish to follow in the footsteps of the University of Hull.

In our country, too, there are calls to apply the spelling and grammar rules less strictly. Author Kristien Hemmerechts is one of those proponents. She said in De Afspraak on Monday evening that she understands why certain universities have changed the gun. “I’m not saying we should get rid of grammar rules, but I can understand the point of the university,” he said.

“The university does not say that spelling is not important,” said Hemmerechts. “They simply ask not to deduct points if someone makes a spelling mistake during a physics exam, for example.”

The dt rule

She emphasized during the conversation that if we focus too much on correct spelling, we paralyze a lot of people. “Students can write very creative texts, even if they contain spelling mistakes. Language is so much more than correct spelling, ”she said based on her experiences as a creative writing teacher.

“Our education has an enormous focus on that spelling,” Hemmerechts continued. “That is no surprise, because correct spelling can be measured and we like that. But by attaching too much importance to that, we lose a large group of students. ” She cited the example of students who only learn the Dutch language at a later age or families where Dutch is not the mother tongue.

Furthermore, the author noted that for many young people the DT rule is no longer an issue. “I don’t think that rule should disappear, but I see that it is happening gradually. Young people pay less attention to the spelling rules. ”


Education expert Wouter Duyck continues to emphasize a good command of the spelling and grammar rules. “It is up to education to teach young people things they are not interested in. We know that talents, such as language skills, are very important in society. ”

Duyck is not convinced that less attention to spelling benefits equality. “Thanks to education, pupils are given the tools and skills to be successful in the labor market. Suppose a diploma no longer demonstrates that you can spell, then the value of that diploma also disappears, ”said Duyck.



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