Home Forums Reflection Forum Reflection 1.1 – Standard English

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    • #1864
      admin adminadmin
      Keymaster

      I quite like the analogy between Standard English and dress code or table etiquette rules. There are different dress codes we use on different occasions and in different situations, and SE can have its place in language use, like a suit is used at certain times but not always. Also, thinking of table etiquette, there certainly isn’t just one etiquette everyone around the world follows. Different cultures have different expectations of table behaviour; while slurping one’s soup might be regarded as rude in western cultures, in eastern cultures it’s a sign of enjoyment of the meal. All this to say, language is the same, it’s not uniform and it takes the shape of the culture it lives in, and the individuals that it lives in.

      I like one particular TED Talk in which intercultural communication expert Marianna Pascal says that “English is not an art to be mastered. It’s a tool to get results”. I completely agree, and we all use that tool differently.

      By the way, Marianna Pascal has an interesting short Toastmasters speech on Local English & Standard English that can be found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQmNIqdwVMw. I’m interested to hear some thoughts on it! I agree with some points she makes but not so much or not fully) with other ones.

      To view past replies go to: https://changingenglishes.proboards.com/thread/7/standard-english

      • This topic was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by admin adminadmin.
    • #3322
      Joshua TanJoshua Tan
      Member

      I personally would liken standard English as a form of Art, a treasured piece of artwork to be beheld and to be analysed. Since the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the interpretation of its beauty is entirely up to the interpreter, i.e us. On the other hand, the day-to-day use of English language is none other than a tool to get people to their desired destinations. People tend to learn English to help them to achieve a goal, say, for example, to help them to communicate with another person in a business setting.

      It is undeniable, however, that standard English still possesses her distinct advantage due to the proliferation of her usage across the formal commercial setting, especially if one is dealing with the native English speaker. But that’s just my personal biases.

    • #3350

      It would be correct to view Standard English through the analogy of dress code and table etiquettes. Just as such analogies express the diverse ways in which English could be used in different socio-cultural contexts, they also imply the limiting effect such standard use could have on the language users. Just as a particular accepted dress code or table manners define and set down the “appropriate” dress to be worn in an occasion and correct table manners to be observed and thereby limits the choices available, an accepted Standard variety of English limits the diversity introduced by the socio-culturally different users of English.

    • #3500

      Of course, there might have different analogies in both of SE and other cultural users of English.
      There is a say like “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. So that, I think we don’t need to embrace or replace both. I got this idea after watching Marianna Pascal’s talk.

    • #3557

      When you do not follow the dress code or table manners you are considered impolite and not fit! The same is with Standard English. When you do not follow the rules you are considered out of the correct league! So you have to stick to the Standard English and tally with it, otherwise you don’t belong here!

    • #3630

      The analogy of dress code and table etiquette quiet fits in to standard English or rather to any language that sees a change in a course of time. Language contextualize and prioritize the rules and situations, I agree with Marianna Pascal as English is not an art to master but a tool to get result.

    • #3673

      I generally see the point of the analogies made, but I think that there is also a noticeable difference when we thing about English in particular. Dress codes and table manners are usually established locally, for a given country, society, community, etc. through a mutual agreement on what is commonly considered proper in a given situation. Therefore, Chinese boardroom meeting may have a significantly different dress code than a silicon valley start-up management meeting. Standard English, on the other hand, is a variety of the English language which is supposed to be the “proper” one across the board, regardless of the local context. In addition, it’s not agreed upon by its non-native users but rather imposed by educational bodies and global institutions.

      • #4265

        Yes, as much as we try to use these analogiestoo describe standard English, we must also see it from the viewpoint that dress code and table etiquettes vairies across diverse culture and society. Standard English on the other hand as we know it gives no room for these variations, hence, the argument of which is more standard between British English and American English.

    • #3732

      Sure, there might have different analogies in both of SE and other cultural users of English.
      There is a say like “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. So that, I think we don’t need to embrace or replace both. I got this idea after watching Marianna Pascal’s talk.

    • #3910

      When someone urges to use the standards, that means they are showcasing language dictatorship and marginalzing the varieties. Anyway, language is a form of human expression. At least in the spoken variety, the user must be given freedom to talk or express one’s self without restricting or fearing for a norm; a standard.
      Then only, the language will not become stagnant but spread more and more multiplying its users.

    • #4051

      I totally agree with this too. As an English language instructor for almost three years, I’ve seen how depressed my students are whenever they fail to express their ideas in the English language. English language is just like any other languages. It is used to communicate whether you followed the rules or not, what matters most is that you were able to relay the message that you want to say– that they were able to understand what you mean.

    • #4608

      Standard English is a barrier to Entry. For example, the use of standardized English tests act as a gatekeeper. If you don’t use ‘Standard’ English, you will not get a good score. If you don’ get a good score, you will not be accepted into educational institutes or get the job.

    • #4655

      There should be a standard in the dress code or rules for table etiquette. In the same way, English language has its standard variety. When we consider about the origin of Standard English, it is in inner circle which associates with the countries like, UK and USA. Simultaneously, there is an existence of standard variety of English in each country for instances, “Standard Sri Lankan English, Standard Indian English, Standard Canadian English, and etc. Furthermore, it is needed to consider about the fact that when there is a standard variety, there is a non-standard variety too. That’s why adhering to standard dress code or rules for table etiquette is much important as following a “Standard variety of English.” Why did I mention here “a standard variety of English” because everyone can not adhere to the standard English in the inner circles.

    • #4677

      I definitely love the comparison of standard English to a dress code! So rigid!

      I hate the idea of only one way of speaking the language. I guess students must learn some standards so they can work with others and do well on standardized tests and in job interviews, but I always hope they can have the opportunity to experience some non-standard English, too, and appreciate the beauty each of the dialects can offer.

    • #4725

      When ttalking about the Standard English the comparison made between the dress code or the rules for table etiquette are quite interesting. Likewise, by considering Standard English we can identify the characteristics and features of it. But according to the country we live in it changes as Standard Indian English , Standard Canadian English etc.

    • #4834
      Julio TorresJulio Torres
      Member

      It is true that table manners are culturally created and conventionally used in a determined context but they are also used ot not if you have visitors at home or you are invited to a fancy dinner. I think standard English or the standard of any language is determined by different factors such as social calss, gender, age, etc. in all context and according to socilinguistic norms of any speeech community.

    • #5201

      Q: 1 Every culture has norms when it comes to what people should wear and how people should behave at a dining table. By acquiring and applying these ‘rules’ or ‘norms’, people have a chance to demonstrate their level of education and status within a society. StE follows the same approach. People do form and develop a strong impression about your professionalism and even your intelligence based on how you speak. Therefore, divergence from cultural norms has negative rather than positive consequences. It is rather a risk-taking operation to become a ‘rulebreaker’. However, what about the dress codes and dining etiquette when various cultures come and share a meal together? What about cross-cultural etiquette? How can we define who dressed accordingly and who is not?

    • #5240

      Mastery of any language requires a lifetime. We can’t know everything in any language since it changes every day.

    • #5266

      I agree with this comparison. However, I think dress codes are there to help us socialise, not to restrain ourselves from being who we are. And just like standard English can be useful at certain places, it is also (just like dress codes) inappropriate in different contexts. We cannot expect to be competent in English just by using Standard English (in the same way we cannot expect to use the same dress code in every situation of our lives).

    • #5271

      I think it is beneficial to have frameworks that work and lead many people well in their studies and learning languages. I consider the codes, the rules, and the defined plans in different contexts will help the nature of language learning and teaching to be disciplined and flexible.

    • #5291

      Lifelong learning

    • #5315

      I, personally, do not fancy Standard English since I know where it came from. Naturally, I speak a mix of ‘Standard’ Northern and modern RP English during my classes. I used to reside in York, this os the reason why I started this course in the first place, and the Yorkshire accent has left a considerable mark on my speech. Lads and lasses in my groups sometimes notice how slightly differently I pronounce those typical words that are usually included within the so-called trap-bath split words, and some words and expressions I am just unable to use in the Standard way. I more likely use lad (or laddie) instead of boy or lass (or lassie) instead of girl. Some other words and expressions include put wood in’t ‘ole, aye, born and bred and near as it makes no matter.

    • #5347
      Bruno BritoBruno Brito
      Member

      The analogy of dress code and table etiquette quiet fits in to standard English or rather to any language that sees a change in a course of time.

    • #5380

      In some ways, the norms of ‘Standard English’ are just the linguistic equivalent of a dress code or rules for table etiquette.

      I think Standard English is a useful starting point for many learners of English, after which, they could begin to experiment with due cultural sensitivity and common sense (however culturally defined the latter may be). There are many weaknesses to adopting this type of English but the situation would be similar if a teacher adopted a model of teaching different types of Englishes (I’m thinking of the majority of my students, who are A1-B2 in the CEFR). In my context, there’s generally not much awareness of the diversity of other cultures (even at the other end of the same country), let alone from continent to continent.
      I read with much mirth https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20161028-native-english-speakers-are-the-worlds-worst-communicators , much of which I can agree with.

    • #5393

      I would like to believe that the effort to sound accurate and correct using the so called “Standard English” is always welcome if that’s what the learner prefers. This practice only becomes wrong when one who uses the “Standard English” starts to think that he/she is more superior than the ones who don’t subscribe to his/her preference. Simply put, speakers of the English language — be it native or not — should embrace the fact that the world has now colonized the English language and each country and culture has now created its own, unique way of using it in their day to day lives. And that, I think, is what makes the English language even more beautiful.

    • #5405

      I agree with Marianna Pascal Standard English is needed to communicate with other cultures because without it we would not be able to understand each other but having local English is important for communities and it would be a shame to lose them.

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