Fun lessons can make big difference

9 September, 2011

Children should be taught in a way which allows them to have fun and experiment

Children perform better when they are allowed to experiment with language

People who provide private tuition for children may be interested to learn about research showing that children’s writing skills dramatically improved when they are taught in a way which allows them to have fun and experiment with their subject.

Pupils shown how to explore language and have fun with it during grammar lessons exhibited twice the rate of improvement of others.

Exeter University researchers analysed the response to their method of 700 mixed-ability children at 31 secondary schools in the West Midlands and the South West.

The pupils were put in two groups: one was taught typical lessons by the usual teacher and one was taught lessons designed by the research team. By the end of the year the first group recorded an 11% improvement in their writing skills but the second group’s writing scores improved by 20%

The findings, to be shown to the annual conference of the British Educational Research Association, read: “This represents the first robust statistical evidence for a beneficial impact of the teaching of grammar in students’ writing attainment.”

The biggest reward from the experiment was reaped by the more able writers in the test group, the researchers added.