Standard English?

Throughout the years, one thing above all continually astounds me about my fellow English Language teachers, researchers, writers, administrators and even students. What is it? Well, it is how conservative they are about language and how they believe there is a “standard” English that should be taught.

I said my usual – poppycock! That right now, many teenagers and youth are using this form, so it is appropriate and that it actually is very forward leaning. Language changes, we should make our students aware of this variety and help them to “tolerate the ambiguity” of language.

[ See this article on the topic – The Myth Of Proper English.]

What do you think? Are you one who believes we should teach a “standard” form of English or like me, do you believe we should guide our teaching by how the language is actually used. Are you a kind of prescriptivist or a descriptivist? I’ve set up a poll with a couple of short videos highlighting each side of the argument. Let’s see who believes what!

By the way – one great place for grammar discussion is Richard Firsten’s Grammatically Speaking.


Also published on Medium.

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