Sacred Heart Primary School in Middlesbrough, England has made the news because of the headteachers efforts to ensure standard English is spoken by her pupils. A letter has been sent home to parents asking for their support in ensuring children say “work” instead of “werk” and do nor pluralise “you” by saying “yous”.

Headteacher Carol Walker said she wanted to teach standard English, not to remove the Teesside accent.

Of course many pronunciations like “werk” and grammatical anomalies such as pluralising “you” are signifiers of a regional dialect and go hand in hand with the accent. It would appear that the parents of the Sacred Heart Primarty Schools pupils are backing the headmaster however, with parents responses being “”really positive” with no “negative reaction” at all.” The Headteacher was quoted as saying:

“I am not asking children to deny where they come from. I am saying to them there are certain situations where they need to be able to use standard English.”

The BBC obtained a copy of the letter sent to parents and printed the list of offending words.

Head teacher’s language list

  • I done that – I have done that or I did that
  • I seen that – I have seen that or I saw that
  • Yous – The word you is never a plural
  • “School finishes at free fifteen” – “School finishes at three fifteen”
  • Gizit ere – Please give me it
  • I dunno – I don’t know
  • It’s nowt – It’s nothing
  • Letta, butta – Letter, butter
  • Your – Your late should be you’re late
  • Werk, shert – I will wear my shirt for work
  • He was sat there – He was sitting there

via: The BBC