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The use of proper English in the class

 
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sixthchild



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 276
Location: East of Eden

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:41 pm    Post subject: The use of proper English in the class Reply with quote

Apparently there is at least one headmaster who is concerned about the increasing use of "slang" or informal and non standard English in the classroom. Is he right to knock kids back for using everyday speech that will keep them on a par with their peers? Or is he out of step with the way the language is evolving and text book English is only for foreign language students?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8928
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is text book English?
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12100
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBC ran a story last week about a school or maybe the Education Authority in Middlesborough weriting to parents urging them to use "Standard English" A can of worms there ! What is an acceptable regional variation and what is not ?

The reality is that those who cannot or will not use Standard English disadvantage themselves in the world of work.


Last edited by scot47 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
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sixthchild



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 276
Location: East of Eden

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt if many parents (in that part of the country at least) know what "Standard English" is, let along actually use it. The kids of course are just repeating the language they hear in everwhere and popular use. I think they call it evolution. What was once considered slang terms are now part of everyday speech. Progression or something else?
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@sixthchild: Indeed.

You can still find claims by older British grammarians that "different to" and "at the weekend" are improper English. Yet nowadays I get to read stories, here and elsewhere, of British TEFLers "correcting" such horrid Americanisms as "different than" and "on the weekend" in their classrooms. Today's "bad" language is tomorrow's proof of erudition.

~Q
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
BBC ran a story last week about a school or maybe the Education Authority in Middlesborough weriting to parents urging them to use "Standard English" A can of worms there ! What is an acceptable regional variation and what is not ?

The reality is that those who cannot or will not use Standard English disadvantage themselves in the world of work.

I've gotten in the habit of telling students who can't pronounce the "th" sounds to pronounce /θ/ as /f/ and /­/ as /v/, which is far more understandable than the /s/ and /z/ they usually use for those sounds. (Also to work on the "th" sounds, but like the Spanish "rr" they take some time for many students to master and it's a good stop-gap.) If it weren't for lower-class Brits and "th-fronting," I would never have dared, or likely even thought, to do that.

Also, the sheer variation of British dialects means that I've noticed that if students learn to speak passable British English (or at least put on a psuedo-British accent), the less linguistically-savvy among my countrymen will generally attribute any idiosyncrasies to British grammar rather than student errors, whether said idiosyncrasies are present in any British dialect or not.

~Q
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12100
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I continue to be puzzled that I cannot understand large chunks of what is said on TV in the UK. Inarticulate, un-educated, underclass with regional accents !

Lord Reith would not be amused !
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sheikh radlinrol



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 888
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Head Teacher concerned was working in Middesborough and objected to his pupils saying things like ┤┤Gizit┤┤ instead of ┤┤Give me it┤┤. He also complained about adolescents responding to thanks with ┤┤safe┤┤.
Here in Spain I teach two well-educated young women who use ┤┤┤like┤┤ as in ┤┤it was, like, raining┤┤. Should I tell them not to say this simply because it gets on my wick? Maybe, it┤s an age thing. Their generation think it┤s normal. Sad
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12100
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats like awesome.
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crewmeal1



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I've gotten in the habit of telling students....."

I often wonder what the word 'gotten means
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sixthchild



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 276
Location: East of Eden

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, and so it goes on and on. The other side of all this is the inescapable fact that "standard English" is fast becoming an endangered form of speech. It would be comforting to know that today's younger generation across the socio economic spectrum have at least an understanding and can in fact make use of said standard English, but can also move between the soup that passes for our native tongue in not only some parts of the world but also (god forbid) in our own back yard.
I do feel generally though that the grammarians have made their obsessive traits with correct usage and pronunciation a bit of a heavy burden for the young (foreign) learner.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crewmeal1 wrote:
"I've gotten in the habit of telling students....."

I often wonder what the word 'gotten means

On your side of the Irish Sea it means nothing, having fallen out of use in the last few centuries. In North America and (at least so I've read) in Ireland it's the past participle of "get."

~Q
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crewmeal1



Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'' it's the past participle of "get."

I have also heard it used in the present perfect as well as the past simple form. Forget forgot forgotten. Mind boggling to say the least.
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