Dialect English vs. Standard English


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What’s true, is that nowadays there are no real indicators of dialect in the orthographical transcriptions of either speaker; neither used phrases or metaphors particular to their region, other than ‘mam’ instead of mum or mother. Equally, the adult's written sample demonstrates an excellent command of Standard English, and the only indication of dialect arises in a mis-spelling in the child's written sample: ‘stiers’ (stairs). This may be a sign she has confused her own pronunciation of the word with its spelling, thus writing ‘ie’ as in words ‘tie’ and ‘pie’ - or she may simply have confused the phonic ‘ai’ with another similar-looking one.

Recommended implications for teaching

1. It is important for teachers to differentiate between dialect and the misconception of ‘substandard’. Cultural diversity is important within the UK and there is a general consensus that teachers should not correct their students’ speech, for example pronunciation different to their own - glottal stops are most notoriously corrected by adults!

2. Children take time to develop a sophisticated and appropriate writing style, and progress through at least three stages: bla bla and bla. Teachers should be aware of the approximate age brackets for these stages as well as what the stages consist of in terms of learning and capacity.

3. Until children have naturally progressed into their next stage of learning how to write, teachers should carefully assess - in light of the stage, age bracket and individual ability of the child - to what extent they should correct their written work. To aid learning and promote progression, suggestions and alternatives may be a better approach than straight correction.

4. Promote clarity and variation in communication to move toward a sophisticated communicative ability; raise awareness or empathy or others’ knowledge of the world and their own chosen topics of discourse and writing.

Mary Anne Winslow is a member of Essay Writing Service counselling department team and a dissertation writing consultant. Contact her to get free counselling on custom essay writing.


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