Standard English 1 WHAT IT ISDEBATES OVER ITS IMPORTANCE
Standard* 2 standardised language refers to a language which has one variety which has undergone standardisation. standardisation the processes of language determination, codification and stabilisation. Language determination “refers to decisions which have to be taken concerning the selection of particular languages or varieties of language for particular purposes in the society or nation in question” (p.71). Codification is the process whereby a language variety “acquires a publicly recognised and fixed form”. The results of codification “are usually enshrined in dictionaries and grammar books” (p.17) Stabilisation is a process whereby a formerly diffuse variety (in the sense of Le Page and Tabouret-Keller,1985) “undergoes focussing and takes on a more fixed and stable form” (p.70).
Standard English is not 3 a language it is only one variety of English among many it is the variety normally used in writing, especially printing it is the variety associated with the education system in all the English- speaking countries of the world it is the variety generally spoken by those who are often referred to as “educated people” it is the variety taught to non-native learners an accent RP is a standardised accent of English and not Standard English – RP is a purely social accent associated with speakers from upper-class and upper-middle-class backgrounds from all parts of the country Approx. 9%-12% of the population of Britain speak Standard English with some form of regional accent Standard English is an international variety; standardised RP is not
Standard English is not 4 a style Styles are varieties of language which can be ranged on a continuum from very formal to very informal individuals use a variety of styles according to context an individual‟s repertoire of styles depend on experience and education compare Father was exceedingly fatigued subsequent to his extensive peregrination. Dad was very tired after his lengthy journey. The old man was bloody knackered after his long trip. Father were very tired after his lengthy journey.
Standard English is not 5 a register a variety of language determined by topic, subject matter or activity, such as the register of mathematics, the register of medicine, or the register of pigeon fancying constituted by lexical choice syntactic choice (e.g. law) academic, technical, scientific registers are taught in school is there such a thing as „standard vocabulary‟?
Standard English is 6 a dialect/a sub-variety of English but an unusual dialect There is really no continuum linking Standard English to other dialects It is a purely social dialect – it has lost its geographical anchor Scottish Standard English, American Standard English, English Standard English It has native speakers – constituting about 12%-15% of the population concentrated at the top of the social scale
Standard English is 7 a social dialect which is distinguished from other dialects of the language by its grammatical forms but not a set of prescriptive rules I’ve bought a new car which I’m very pleased with. It’s me. He is taller than me.
Linguistic difference 8 standard non-standard I did it I done it Come quickly! Come quick! … the books that I … the book what I bought bought … … those books … … them books … I didn‟t break it. I never broke it. I didn‟t break anything We started first, didn‟t I didn‟t break nothing. we? We started first, isn‟t it?
Linguistic change 9 Compare He is bigger than me/He is bigger than I He is bigger than what I am You haven’t got any money, do you? You don’t got any money, do you? There was this man, and he’d got this gun... etc. There was a man, and he’d got a gun... etc.
Education 10 English is unusual in that: it is the world‟s „lingua franca‟, used by perhaps 300 million L2 speakers it is the only language whose L2 speakers and learners far outnumber its native speakers it‟s an industry
The National Curriculum 11 the canon of literature that schools are expected to teach the teaching of grammar prescriptive grammar teaching no grammar teaching descriptive grammar teaching
The National Curriculum 12 Age 5-7: "Pupils should be introduced to some of the main features of spoken standard English and be taught to use them.“ When teaching standard English it is helpful to bear in mind the most common non-standard usages in England: subject-verb agreement (they was) formation of past tense (have fell [sic], I done)
The National Curriculum 13 Age 7-11: "Pupils should be taught the grammatical constructions that are characteristic of spoken standard English and to apply this knowledge appropriately in a range of contexts.“ "Pupils should be taught: how written standard English varies in degrees of formality [for example, differences between a letter to a friend about a school trip and a report for display], some of the differences between standard and non-standard English usage, including subject-verb agreement and use of prepositions."
The National Curriculum 14 Age 11-16: "To speak fluently and appropriately in different contexts, adapting their talk for a range of purposes and audiences, including the more formal, pupils should be taught to: .... use spoken standard English fluently in different contexts ... "Pupils should be taught to use the vocabulary, structures [sic] and grammar of spoken standard English fluently and accurately in informal and formal situations."