The Standard English Debate
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Standard English is described as "by far the most important dialect in the English-speaking world from a social, intellectual and cultural point of view" (Trudgill 1999;123). This suggests that the debate about Standard English is a multi-stranded one. This paper demonstrates how it can be divided into: a linguistic debate, which shows the rise of standard English as a direct result of certain historical event; a socio-cultural debate, which demonstrates the way that society often shapes its attitudes on stereotypes and assumptions about attributes of a speaker and their linguistic variety and a political debate, which shows the area of language attitudes as one with which presuppositions about social class have a significant relationship.
From the Paper:""Standard English refers to the 'structure of the language, i.e. its grammar and vocabulary', but it may be 'spoken in any accent' (Perera, 1994 cited by Brindley, 1996). Since the 1950's there has been a decline in the teaching of grammar in schools. Some educationalists have interpreted criticism on prescriptive grammar as criticism of grammar teaching in general. It has been found that English students are now entering universities with little knowledge of basic grammatical terminology (Milroy and Milroy, 1991). Honey (1983) says that English language teaching is in decline and blames the discipline of linguistics for this."
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