Dangers of Online English Study

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Dangers of Online English Study

Most English educational sites present very poor English

Education
I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained. - Walt Disney

While online language study can be highly convenient and effective (see Learning English Online), far too often the language taught is substandard, colloquial or ungrammatical. Standard English (SE) is the language expected of college students and is generally that which is required in business communication (see English Literacy). One fairly accurate definition of SE is that established by the SAT, the American college entrance examination (see What is Correct English). American secondary schools strive (with mixed results) to teach SE, but a simple tour of online education sites reveals that almost every educational website on the net contains SAT grammar or usage errors, often in profusion, and occasionally in every sentence (see SAT Errors in Educational Websites).

Education
Trying to get more learning out of the present system is like trying to get the Pony express to compete with the telegraph by breeding faster ponies. - Edward Fiske

While a well-written educational website is no guarantee of the quality of instruction and resources presented, a poorly written one almost certainly reflects an inability on the part of the educators to correct it or to provide better copy. Unfortunately, most students seeking to improve their English, are unable to distinguish good examples from the many poor ones, and the claim to be a native speaker, or even to possess academic qualifications is often unreliable and misleading.


Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpets which sing to battle, and feel not what they inspire; the influence which is moved not, but moves. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. - Percy Bysshe Shelley



The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have sacrificed his life. - Ernest Renan