Learners of French will no doubt sympathize with the Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles, the organisation that represents French-speaking Belgium. On Monday two French-speaking Belgian academics Arnaud Hoedt et Jérôme Piron, supported by the federation, expressed their desire to scrap a complex rule of French grammar: the past participle agreement for the verb avoir (to have). Unlike when used with the verb être- to be (where past participles must show agreement with the pronoun) the past participle normally doesn't change when used with the verb avoir, eg. j'ai mangé, nous avons vu, tu as joué (I have eaten, we have seen, you have played). But there are exceptions. The rule states that if the direct object comes before the past participle, the past participle should agree in gender and in number with that direct object. The example the Belgians give is: "Les crêpes que j'ai mangées", where the past participle of manger (to eat) takes the … [Read more...] about Belgians want to ditch ‘absurd’ French grammar rule (and they might be right)
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The Department for Education (DfE) announced last week that it will provide £50million extra funding for England’s 163 surviving grammar schools with details of the remaining £150million to be announced later. This funding, however, is dependent on these schools setting out what action they will take to boost the number of disadvantaged pupils they admit. Many MPs and commentators in the education space have criticised the decision. Kevin Courtney of the National Education Union (NEU), said: “The grammar school corpse has climbed out of its coffin once again despite evidence of the damage that selective education causes.” But the reality is that this new policy, which places strict conditionality on current grammar schools expanding and rules out the creation of new schools, is far removed from Theresa May’s original vision which was to lift the ban on creating new grammar schools and allow existing comprehensive schools to become selective. This could … [Read more...] about New Support For Grammar Schools Only A Shadow Of May’s Original Vision
At the White House on Monday, Melania Trump unveiled a campaign to keep children happy and healthy in today’s hyperconnected, often unsettling world. The name of this lofty and laudable effort? “Be Best.” That’s right: “Be Best!” Not “Be the Best”, or “Be Your Best”, or “Be the Best You Can Be”. Not “Be Better” or “Be Safe”, or even “Don’t Be a Jerk” (which is an actual campaign launched in New York to promote safe cycling). Donald Trump, who was there by his wife’s side in the Rose Garden, signed a proclamation that designates 7 May as “Be Best Day”. Roll it around on your tongue for a moment. Say it out loud. “Hey, friend, any plans for Be Best Day?” “Nah, I’ll probably just spend Be Best Day at home”. “Be Best” just so plainly doesn’t hold up to the laws of English grammar, which require that a superlative … [Read more...] about ‘Be Best’: does Melania Trump’s oddly named initiative break the laws of grammar?
A group of grammar schools needs to change how they score the 11-plus admissions test as it is “unfair” for children born in the summer, the official admissions watchdog has suggested. Pupils taking the entry test for Colchester County High School for Girls, in Essex, must have their scores adjusted to reflect age differences, an Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) report said. The unweighted test – used by 10 grammar schools in Essex – puts children born in July or August at a disadvantage, compared with older pupils of the same school year, the OSA ruled. Read more Grammar schools 'damage social mobility' and should be 'phased out' “A smaller proportion of summer born girls who take the test achieve the required test scores than girls born at other times of the year," schools adjudicator Ann Talboys wrote. "I consider that the admission arrangements currently in operation are unfair to girls who are born in the summer … [Read more...] about Grammar school entry test ‘unfair’ for children born in summer
An Aylesbury Grammar School teacher who was found to have behaved in a sexual way towards a 15-year-old girl has been given a lifetime classroom ban. Jeffrey Tansey, 40, initially believed the girl he met via an adult online dating site was over 18 but she soon made him aware of her real age. The panel has found that Mr Tansey’s actions showed a serious lack of judgment and deliberate disregard for safeguarding protocols and that this amounted to misconduct of a serious nature. Alan Meyrick, deputy director of the National College of Teaching and Leadership He nevertheless arranged to meet her for what was described as a ‘date’ and during this meeting in 2012, he held hands with her and twice kissed her on the lips, before agreeing to meet her again.The IT teacher claimed he met her in order to assess her vulnerability and alert the authorities to prevent her from putting herself at risk in the future.However, the National College For Teaching and Leadership panel … [Read more...] about Aylesbury Grammar School teacher given lifetime ban after ‘sexual behaviour’ with teen