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U.S. schoolchildren tackle NFL grammar issue head-on

Graeme Parton

Children from a school in Buffalo, New York have been using the grammatical failings of their favourite American football stars to improve their own literacy skills.

The kids, who study at**more** the city’s Elmwood Franklin School, are under orders from Mark Saldanha, their teacher, to correct the mistakes he finds in Tweets made by some of the NFL’s biggest names.

The interesting lesson plan focuses particularly on three players: Wes Welker of the New England Patriots, the San Francisco 49ers’ Chris Culliver and Titus Young, who plays for the Detroit Lions. Each of the mega-rich stars had some of their fault-riddled musings turned back to them within 10 minutes of publishing. The mistakes, along with the corrections made by the children, were photographed by Mr. Saldanha and posted on the school’s official Facebook page.

The 36-year-old teacher, who has been working at the school for the last three years, looked at accounts belonging to the players before distributing the mistakes to his class. Speaking about the idea, he said:

“We split the students into groups, and they corrected them with only a little teacher assistance. They all picked up on the mistakes.”

Some of the Tweets corrected by the youngsters included the following from Culliver:

“I pray to God I’m never dieing broke.”

As well as this goof from Walker:

“Merry Christmas to everyone. My God bless you all!”

Perhaps the biggest eyesore of all, however, was this Tweet from Young:

“It’s true I could be alot better, But wit the football.”

With social media platforms – and Twitter in particular – often blamed for a decline in the standard of writing among young people, it is good to see the problem being turned into a positive outlet for teaching. It’s also interesting to point out the fact that schoolchildren are successfully correcting adults with spelling – something which businesses should certainly bear in mind when creating content for their websites.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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