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The plain essentials

Grammar has returned to the English curriculum with a vengeance, pleasing traditionalists but striking fear into the hearts of ill-equipped trainee teachers.

The Teacher's Guide to Grammar by Deborah Cameron, published this month by Oxford University Press, aims to cover the formal knowledge of English language required by the national curriculum and literacy strategy so that teachers can feel more confident in communicating what they know.

"Grammar is often talked about as a miracle cure for problems with reading, writing and spelling," she said. "This has done it no favours among teachers, whose experience tells them there are no easy solutions."

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