English Language: Use of S.E in the Classroom

  • Created by: seans01
  • Created on: 01-04-20 09:59
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  • Should teachers force all students to use Standard English?
    • FOR
      • Bernstein- restricted and elaborated codes
        • The education system is founded upon a middle class habitus- uses the elaborated code in assessment materials, lessons, revision resources, etc
          • Students need to utilise the features of Standard English to succeed
            • Rob Jenkins- "the word 'standard' here [..] simply describes accepted norms- [..] educated people must generally abide by them if they are to communicate effectively."
              • "In students' personal lives, there is no 'wrong' language."
              • "Assuming that everyone will understand your dialect only leads to confusion [..] and false impressions- all of which are bad for business."
                • Links to occupation- efficiency
                  • Acronyms and occupational lexis are used within a specific discourse community, mainly for the efficiency of communication within the workplace
                    • Tme and productivity are key principles of business- having a shared form of dialect enables ease of such communication
      • Depends on the formality of the situation- regional accent features such as non-standard grammatical constructions or phonological variable omission may be inappropriate for the workplace
        • Martin Joos- Levels of Formality (1962)
      • The 'Downton effect'- schools discriminate against regional varieties and non-standard forms
        • Is a form of 'linguistic prejudice' (Alexander Beratta)
          • Beratta reports that trainee teachers from the north and Midlands are being asked by their supervisors to lose their regional accents in order to be better "role models" for students.
        • Reinforces class identities- students are labelled within the education system for their language use, which typically corresponds with social class
      • Anecdotal evidence
        • Casting agents for a new Morrisons advert seeked out 'proper working class people' (stereotyped as those with a Northern accent)- but deliberately excluded those from Liverpool.
      • Rob Drummond- "there's nothing linguistically better, more superior, or more sophisticated in so-called standard English."
        • Standard English holds overt prestige, hence why it is valued
      • Drummond advocates an additive rather than reductive approach- a form of codeswitching according to formality and context would be appropriate
        • Teachers can model the appropriate contexts within which Standard English and regional varieties can be used, while still challenging the overt prestige and status that the standard form holds


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