Non-Standard English

Hythloday   Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 20:34 GMT
My students keep asking me why they are taught a form of English (i.e. Standard British English and the British RP accent) which nobody seems to speak. When they travel around Britain, all they hear are Non-Standard forms. I was therefore wondering if anybody had ever come across an EFL/ESL/ESOL textbook on Non-Standard English phonological, syntactic, lexical, morphological and/or prosodic variants.
Antonio   Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 21:53 GMT

I have never come across any textbook on non-std form. The std form is taught because it is much easier to teach than if you had to teach all the various forms of accents present in the UK. Besides, almost everyone will understand you.
Clark   Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 22:31 GMT
I am sure there is something on Scots. But then again, some will argue that Scots is a seperate dialect or language (I think it is just a dialect that evolved from Middle English, just as Standard English evolved from Middle English).
Ryan   Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 03:03 GMT
You are right, Clark. But Standard English is considered a language, so based on that logic, Scots must also be a language. And, of course, Scots is not Standard English, therefore Scots is a separate language.

Jamie On   Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 08:08 GMT
If you come to any English speaking country and talk in RP people will understand you fully and probably think you are well-educated and intelligent. In Britain, most of the news programmes on TV and radio are delivered in something like RP.
Hythloday   Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 18:33 GMT
Strange, isn't it, how a high level of educatedness is generally held to be synonymous with intelligence? Some of the most well-educated people I've ever met have also been the most stupid.
Jim   Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 23:46 GMT

They're are your students, right? Maybe that's their way of asking you to teach them something besides this so-called standard.

What students are taught depends, not only on the texts from which they are taught, but also on the teacher.

If the teacher doesn't have an RP accent, how are the students going to learn one?

I have never come across an EFL/ESL/ESOL textbook on Non-Standard English (unless you count American English ... (half joking half serious)) but textbooks are not the only materials ESL/EFL teachers can use.

If you want to teach that stuff look elsewhere: videos, CDs, magazines, kids books, etc.
Hythloday   Thursday, September 18, 2003, 09:09 GMT
I think I'll write one myself.
Jamie On   Thursday, September 18, 2003, 11:37 GMT
What do you have against RP?
english adam   Saturday, September 20, 2003, 17:31 GMT
you can get a book on cockney(native of london) rhyming slang but u have to come 2 england 2 experience the amount of accents there is. and 2 the person who said scottish waz a different language coz they speak differently, wel u cud say that for every single different part of england coz they all speak wiv different accents, dialects and have their own local words so if that waz the case then there would be 100s of different languages of english, plus the scots speak same as english but wiv different accents and a few slang, its all spoke the spelt the same etc.
Jamie On   Saturday, September 20, 2003, 20:26 GMT
agree with Adam
Hythloday   Sunday, September 21, 2003, 22:24 GMT
Jamie On, I don't have anything against the RP accent per se, it's just that only about 10 to 20% of the population of Britain speak it, so it makes more sense to introduce students to the different varieties which they will inevitably encounter rather than just teach them one form.
A.S.C.M.   Monday, September 22, 2003, 02:19 GMT
More like 5% of UK's population speak RP.
Clark   Monday, September 22, 2003, 02:23 GMT
I noticed that in the Harry Potter movies, the kids speak RP as well as they can. Neville Longbottom (the chunky one who always gets stuck on something with his cloak) speaks with a Northern accent (probably around Yorkshire) in the special features disc.
Simon   Monday, September 22, 2003, 07:26 GMT
The kids speak RP because they are all from drama school.