Teachers need to do more work to improve children's vocabulary and make it clear when the use of slang and colloquialisms are not acceptable, academics have found.Handily, the 'Telegraph' gives some examples:
English literature A-levelOuch! And it gets worse:
"It's like, yea, Cleo is a player" – referring to Cleopatra in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra
"He's always spouting off" – referring to Orsino from Twelfth Night
"So anyway, Viola's had it with Olivia and is fuming with her." question on Twelfth Night
"Heani referz 2 poetri as wen humn xperiens cumz 2 life" – an essay on Seamus Heaney's poem Digging
"I was well bored."
"This is less about correcting their English than making sure that they are aware of what they are saying and giving them access to different repertoires," said Professor Debra Myhill, author of the study.Who could argue with that?
"They need to be aware of what they are saying and when, and be able to make choices about their speech, otherwise they will lose out in areas such as the job market."
And it seems that the recent fad for targets and learning only what is on the test paper is partly at fault:
"In order to develop children's writing more, we need to develop children's talking more," said Prof Myhill.Quite.
"It is not just about using standard English, it is about having more opportunities in class for children to elaborate, justify their decisions, discuss their ideas and give them access to a broader and richer vocabulary, though reading widely and word searches.
"We know that in classrooms that continually provide children with talk opportunities, there will almost certainly be a positive influence on their writing."
Look what happens when you don't provide that...
Update: Tim Worstall has picked this up too.