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Should Slang Be Banned in Schools?

Autor:   •  August 28, 2017  •  1,445 Words (6 Pages)  •  378 Views

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English when required.

This can also be argued against, as the slang that the youth use today can be seen as unintelligent to many adults. Many schools are known for their sophistication, and whilst the students may be able to easily distinguish between slang and Standard English, their use of slang may come across as a sign of disregard and ignorance of authority in a teachers classroom.

Slang makes people who they are, and prohibiting the use of slang is like taking a part of a students’ sociolect away; it is like taking part of them away. Therefore banning slang would be seen as a sizeable issue in this sense. Terry Victor, editor of the ‘New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English’ said “You cannot censor a young person’s language” when asked to comment on the matter. He is correct, as limiting a young individuals’ use of language is restricting their license to be creative, a necessary quality to have to develop into a successful adult.

This leads on to my next point that slang can be seen as a positive in schools when around friends. Many people use slang to fit in with others, as the need to do so is desirable by most teenagers. They develop new words within their peer group to feel involved, and accepted. David Crystal, an expert in the study of spoken language believes “it is a way of being witty and different as well as adding an earthiness to the abstract”, exactly what peer groups would want to achieve. In transcript A, a conversation between two friends, there is heavy use of slang. Firstly, the first student addresses the other as “dude”; this is an informal greeting which will be part of the peer groups’ socially accepted jargon. The familiarity between the two speakers allows for this informal greeting to be accepted. The first student is acknowledging the fact that the second student is an appreciated member of the peer group. As studies can show, people with the same sociolect as others can often represent similar interests and likes. Furthermore, there is a lot of clipping of words in the transcript. Words like “cos” and “kay”, short for ‘because’ and ‘okay’ respectively, are used. If these words were used in a different context, the other people may not understand what is being said. Since the two students are friends, the other one knows what is meant by the clipped words. It is clearly important that we are able to speak properly in schools, however slang helps people make friends and fit in.

On the other hand, a new student may find it hard to fit in as a result of peer groups, with their own slang words already having been formed. The student would have a different sociolect to the others, so they might find it hard to make new friends, an important aspect of school life. This would only be a problem in areas where the students may be less welcoming, so it would not be a huge deal in all schools.

To conclude, the decision of whether to ban slang or not in schools is highly dependent on the school. If the pupils are more mature, then I personally do not think that slang should be banned. This is because the students will be capable of overcoming any problems that slang will present to them, such as being able to tell apart slang from Standard English, and not excluding other peers to a severe extent. But if the school is situated in a more problematic area with a lower standard of education, then I think the school should consider placing a ban. My concern, is that if slang was banned by a school, then students would find other forms of communication that are not seen as sophisticated either, simply due to students having a burning desire to rebel against it, and due to the natural evolution of language. After all, slang manifests the evolution of language. During the Elizabethan times Shakespeare used slang which propelled the English language. The same can be said about the youth. They use slang and it is constantly causing the English language to evolve and expand. Preventing the creation of new slang words by the younger members of society, would halt the development of all language rather rapidly, causing language to be seen as dull by future generations.


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