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Durham University

School of Education

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Publication details

Andrews, R., Torgerson, C., Beverton, S., Freeman, A., Locke, T., Low, G., Robinson, A. & Zhu, D. (2006). The effect of grammar teaching on writing development. British Educational Research Journal 32(1): 39-55.

Author(s) from Durham


This article reports on the results of two international systematic research reviews which focus on different aspects of teaching grammar to improve the quality and accuracy of 5–16-year-olds' writing in English. The results show that there is little evidence to indicate that the teaching of formal grammar is effective; and that teaching sentence-combining has a more positive effect. In both cases, however, despite over a hundred years of research and debate on the topic, there is insufficient quality of research to prove the case with either approach. More research is needed, as well as a review of policy and practice in England with regard to the teaching of sentence structure in writing.


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School of Education