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ESL forum > Teaching material > Only Standard English allowed?    

Only Standard English allowed?

United Kingdom

Only Standard English allowed?
I just wanted to clarify if we are only allowed to use �standard English � (whatever that may be) in our worksheets.  The reason I ask is that my worksheet on Scottish words has been reported.  I realise that this worksheet will not be useful for everyone but surely for other teachers teaching in Scotland these are the kinds of words that are used in everyday conversation.  Whenever our students start class they always say that the most difficult thing for them, no matter how fluent their English is, is understanding our accents and the vocabulary that we use, which is why I made this for students to use in class last night.  Every part of the English-speaking world will have it �s own words that students will need to be taught if they live there and just because a worksheet on Australian or American words might not be useful for me, I know that for plenty of others it will be a necessity. 
Any advice would be welcome as I am not able to defend my worksheet in the reporting page. 

22 Sep 2010      


People are already defending it.

"Lassie" was the first "English" word I knew, well, I didn �t really know what it meant though ;o))))

22 Sep 2010     

Lina Ladybird

It won �t be removed, dear Karen! Of course, Scottish words are part of the English language, too.
Some moderators have already stated their opinion that it should stay...
Best wishes - Silke

22 Sep 2010     


Let �s hope it won �t, otherwise she can re-upload it. 

22 Sep 2010     


Dear Kaz,

I agree with you and have words to say............... Wee las,Wee man,fish supper and bonny las.

Redbull gives you wings you know Wink.

22 Sep 2010     

United Kingdom

Perhaps I �ll upload a Geordie worksheet! 
EG.  translate the following :
Wi wiz ee wi?

ha ha ha

22 Sep 2010     


Homie, take my 411: when uploadin somethin dif, just bust it to us, and what went down won �t repeat. I be happy if you happy.
Gooday, dude!

22 Sep 2010     


Of course it should stay, but this reminds me of a thought I had recently but have been too busy to post. I think when WS are posted we should be able to click what variation of English is being used. Very often I DL a WS and (since my school teaches American English) I have to change all of the British English to American English. Of course I still appreciate the work the original poster did, but it would be nice to know when I DL a WS that it is using American, British, Scottish,  or whatever brand of English is there may be. Just like we have to check what kind of worksheet it is, we should also have to check what brand of English it uses.

I believe in exposing students to all the different kinds of English out there, but we all have our professional responsibilities. As Uploaders and Downloaders I think we would be doing ourselves a favor by including this on the things we tick off about our worksheets.

I don �t know about the technical difficulties involved in doing this, so I just thought I �d take this opportunity to mention what I have been thinking about and make the suggestion.  :)

22 Sep 2010     

United Kingdom

Dear Karen, (Kaz),
You are quite right: "Standard English - whatever that may be!"
No-one has ever asked my opinion on the subject of what does and what does not constitute "Standard English", and I �ve been around for quite a few years.
However, Professor David Crystal, in his world-famous books on English, writes with great enthusiasm about the many languages of the world.  He writes, equally enthusiastically, on the numerous "Englishes" of the world, including "Scottish English".
I regard it as an insult that Scottish words like "totties (potatoes); weeyins (children), kirk (church)" and others, are regarded as sub-standard words.  Many such Scottish words pre-date much of Standard English, so actually they have a better linguistic pedigree, not worse!
By the same prescriptive argument, although used "in everyday conversation", words such as "whiskey; kebab; sputnik; bazaar; spaghetti; siesta; kindergarten; bungalow; rendezvous; et cetera"; are not English, and, ipso facto, must be excluded from all Worksheets!  "Mamma mia!  Is dogma to be our ethos?"
My mother was Scottish and my father was English.  I was born on Tyneside, near Newcastle upon Tyne.  I was scoffed because I spoke the local Geordie dialect.  Thousands of local people continue to  speak Geordie, which is fortunate, (for the English language).  A dialect is part of a living, growing heritage.  Dialect is the blood of the English language.
There is an argument to be pursued regarding what is, and what is not permissible in ESLP Worksheets.  I hope that it is conducted with sensitivity and regard for the needs of others.
Les Douglas

22 Sep 2010     

United Kingdom

Thanks for your replies lads and lassies - that �s braw.  My worksheet was allowed to stay:)
Les - that was an excellent post and I completely agree with you - I really love learning about the different vocabulary used in different parts of the UK and all over the world.
Tastybrain - you make a good point as well as I �m sure lots of teachers will need to change the spelling in their worksheets according to whether they are teaching British or American English.
Thanks also to Silke, Blunderbuster and Redbull.  And Blunderbuster , I �m happy to hear that your first encounter with the English language was a Scottish one - you �re a fine lassie:))
Thanks again

23 Sep 2010