Tim Bakker

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Tim Bakker
Posted 8 months ago
Jamila Lyiscott: 3 ways to speak English
I've not studied English to her level, but even at A-level our English teacher discussed dialect, voice and locus. That there is a time and a place, but it doesn't mean you have to speak always in one voice. In fact people don't. I'd argue that the Internet has a dialect, one of acronyms, memes and GIFs, most people speak different at home or with friends than they do at work, and always differently on the phone (phone 'voice'). So although she's talking from an Afro-American-Caribbean / black experience, all cultures have this at varying degrees, people vary their grammar, language and accent according to who they are talking to, invent their own codes or co-opt them to speak amongst peer groups, use patois, slang, vernacular. The study of which is just as important. She's not saying that those from certain backgrounds should speak in those dialects when say, writing an essay. Kids laugh when teachers suggest they use txt-speak or slang in their essays, they know it's not the right place or tool for discussing those subjects - although I'd bet if they analysed and used those forms they'd get high marks since it shows you have an early understanding that language takes many forms, many codes and voices. You can learn as much from analysing the grammar of slang than you do Shakespeare, and it's a lot less alien. Ideally you should do both... I do agree with a rant on the FB post of this video about grammar - as someone who learned other languages, I was surprised how bad my knowledge of English grammar was, despite many years of teaching. I know there has been a shift away from the chanting of verbs to better methods like phonics/sound based learning but I did feel a bit short-changed about the nuts and bolts of my own language. Although a lot of the rules are learned instinctively, you need to know why for other languages.
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Tim Bakker
Posted over 2 years ago
Schools are terrible places for children.
I agree - I think a lot of the alternatve schooling systems (although people joke about homeschooled) are probably a lot better. I used to skive off a lot of school - not because I was dumb, but because I was bored. I think I was pretty bright, but also bright enough to know that working for a A grade average wasn't really worth it. Happy being a B/C student...and spending time at home doing my own thing. Certainly if the school had been better at encouraging creativity - rather than being a place of bullying, nasty teachers and mostly people who just didn't want to be there (and that was just the teachers) I'd probably have thrived better - certainly Foundation & University were better, although still academe has a real problem with myopic administration and resistance to new ideas...(ask my partner, an ex-Reader about that!) I mostly taught myself how to think by reading and questioning the world and adults. School was never about thinking, it was about conforming. Later education was more about thinking, but ironic as by then the damage is done, and no-one wants to break-out. Or even see why they should? You can blame it on the school, but it was a good school in a good area, very middle class. But it had no real soul, no art, no creativity and certainly I can say 95% of what I was taught I've either found to be actually wrong, useless or unhelpful. I get more education reading or talking to friends and partners and debating ideas than I ever did at school which was all about passing tests. Nothing more. I envy those other systems where you get to choose - in fact one of those early expermental schools - Peper Harrow was near where this school was. Sadly never got that far.