School bans words like 'nowt' from the classroom

  • 7 February 2013
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Kids say the 'incorrect' and 'correct' words and phrases

A primary school in Middlesbrough has banned pupils from using some words and phrases.

Words such as 'nowt' and 'yous' - which are commonly spoken in the local area - are now not allowed in the classroom.

Parents at the Sacred Heart Primary School were sent a letter with a list of 11 forbidden words and phrases.

The teachers at the school want the children to speak standard English, so they can be more clearly understood.

They think this will help the children later on in life.

The school wants to ban "I done that", "I seen that" and using "could of" instead of "could have". The letter explains "Gizit ere", should be "please give me it" instead.

What is 'standard English'?

  • People often use the term 'standard English' to mean the 'correct' way of using grammar, vocabulary and spelling.
  • It is usually used to describe the type of English used by well-educated people.
  • But language changes all the time, and some people say that you can't actually have a single standard of English.

What do you think about this?

Should teachers be banning certain words from the classroom? What special words do you use at your school?

Is your teacher always telling you to "speak properly"?

This chat is now closed. Thanks for all of your comments.

Your comments

"I think that you should use proper English in school and (if you are allowed) you can use slang language at home."

Ellie-Rose, Braintree, England

"I don't see the problem with words like 'nowt'. When you live in Newcastle you get used to it."

Sophie, Newcastle, England

"I think they should be able to say it on the playground when chatting to each other but not in the classroom to a teacher."

Eleanor, Gloucestershire, England

"I think it is a good idea, my class have banned some commonly used words that are grammatically incorrect too. It makes me feel much better because I have been picked on for speaking too "posh". Although it's just our class because we have a teacher that hates it when children don't speak grammatically correctly."

Megsie, Outwell, England

"It is a great idea that schools are banning words but it could be hard for the people that constantly use it and they just can't help themselves".

Sajan, Glasgow, Scotland

"I'm from Middlesbrough so I don't agree with this because it's like they're trying to change our accent. It's like telling someone from Scotland to talk like someone from Newcastle, we shouldn't be told to talk like we're from somewhere else, it's not fair!"

Bethan, Middlesbrough, England

"Slang being banned? They have got to be joking, kids will be made fun of for speaking all smart. Slang is just a natural thing. I'm so happy I don't go to that school!!"

Nicole, Leicestershire, England

"I don't agree! Everyone has the right to say what they want at the right time! School rules shouldn't change how the pupils talk, everyone deserves to be different! "

Ella, Leeds, England

"It is completely ridiculous that these words are being banned it's not like they're swear words or insults .Even though this one change in Middlesbrough might not affect me, I still don't think that we should be told how to speak."

Megan, Cumbria, England

"I don't think children should be banned from talking the way they want because how you talk tells people a bit about you."

Anoop, Ealing, England

"I think the people should be able to speak slang because they are different from us at speaking."

Lonan, Roslea, Ireland

"That is silly!!! Why can't they speak how they like???"

Kate, Melton Mowbray, England

"I think it shouldn't be banned as I am from Redcar and Cleveland and it is how I have been brought up as it is our accent!"

Amy, Middlesborough, England

"I think that we should be allowed to say what we want when we want as long as it doesn't affect our learning"

Amelia, Meir, England

"I think it's good practice for later life, I get extremely annoyed when people say incorrect grammar and I like to be able to understand what people are saying."

Ciara, Dorset, England

"I think they shouldn't be banned but the teacher should just point out it's not the correct way of saying it."

Aela, Fife, Scotland

"I think that kids should be able to say what they want to because that is how they talk and it would be easier in life for them."

Hal, Cheshire, England

"In my school we learn standard English so we can communicate with everyone everywhere."

Irene, Murcia, Spain

"Parents and television people should not use incorrect grammar because the small children will speak badly."

Arabella, Dundalk, Ireland

"Our class thinks that although on the whole we should be allowed to speak as we wish, some words should be avoided. However we appreciate that sometimes this is difficult."

Mr Sharp and P5S class, Inverness, Scotland

"I think schools should teach it, as then those who do and always speak 'properly' don't get hurt when they are asked why they speak so posh, which I have personally experienced."

Madeline, Pontypool, Wales

"I think it is good that schools are banning such words, it will encourage students to speak good English."

Ishaan, Jakarta, Indonesia

"I think that children should be allowed to say any kind of phrase. But they should also be practising the best English they can do. I think it is wrong for schools to permit students from saying certain phrases."

Carly, Hungary

"I think swear words should be banned from school rooms."

Olivia, London, England

"Words shouldn't be banned but children should certainly be taught how to speak properly."

Alex, Crawley, England

"I think this is good because then the kids will learn to speak properly and not use slang like."

Bella, Edinburgh, Scotland

"Children should be allowed to speak in which ever way they wish."

Panda, London, England

"I think that swear words should be banned."

Marcus, Isle Of Wight