To highlight some of our own responses to language varieties

Aim

To highlight some of our own responses to language varieties.

Evidence and reflection

Use your results on this provocative rating scale for discussion with the views of colleagues.

 

 I tend to agree

  I tend to disagree

1. Dialects are ungrammatical forms of English

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2. Pupils should speak standard English at all times in school, including in the playground        

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3. Dropping your ‘H's is sloppy, and creates a bad impression

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4. Poor grammar and spelling should be corrected at all times

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5. All pupils should learn to appreciate Shakespeare

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6. In general, middle‑class pupils speak better than working‑class pupils

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7. Children's home language is not the concern of their teacher

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8. It is confusing for pupils to speak two languages in school

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9. The most important task for all pupils in Britain is to learn good English

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10. We should not use expressions like ‘black mark' as they illustrate racist language

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11. Cultural identity is one thing, but learning to read is another

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Extension

The exercise above should produce some interesting discussion, but actual knowledge and understanding of these issues is another thing. Among speakers of majority languages, the most common state is one of relative ignorance regarding language varieties and the cultures and social circumstances of different social groups. Key Readings for this chapter may provide some ideas.