Complaint-Teachers who use incorrect grammar

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by GardenDove, May 16, 2007.

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  1. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    I've noticed that in my neck of the woods, quite a few teachers make grammar mistakes. It irritates me. For instance, they will tell a student "you did good", instead of using the adverb 'well'.

    I also think that teachers are derelict in their duties if they fail to correct grammar mistakes in students. I suspect that this is a symptom of falsely placed 'tolerance' for different subcultures that is the trend today. But I think it's a mistake.

    Knowing correct, standard English is important. I, personally, instantly judge a person by their grammar and vocabulary. It tells me about their social background. It gives me clues as to their intelligence. Good grammar isn't a secret. Standard, well spoken English is widely heard on news programs and throughout the media. Oprah speaks proper English, as does Judge Judy and many other people who are viewed by the common person who might not be the most educated.

    So, I think the schools should be pushing proper grammar and I think teachers should speak it.
     
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  3. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Good question.
     
  4. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    Correcting grammar has been something I have done for years, much to the chagrin of various friends and family members, I'm sure.:D

    Three of my biggest peeves are "should've went", "I seen", and "he/she goes" instead of "he/she said". It is totally mind boggling to me that these expressions are actually spoken by those in the teaching profession, not just the average person on the street and/or kid in the classroom.

    I don't think that good grammar is an impossible goal - everyone goes to school where poor grammar should be corrected automatically. Many first impressions are based on how well someone speaks.

    And now I will step down from my soapbox and make room for someone else!!;)
     
  5. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Our Staff Ethnicity for 1 pre school/kindergarten, 3 EL schools (1-5), 1 middle school 6-8:
    Hispanic - 74.936% (Mostly support personal, many are marginal english speakers)
    Caucasian - 22.251% (Mostly teachers)
    Other - 2.813%
    our bi-illiterate rate is high :(

    BTW La Profesora, I find you intelligentand & professional.
    SO if I give you a hard time it is just me being a devil.:angel: :p
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I side with shasha here: "money language" is a good term. Sometimes "money language" is the best choice. Sometimes, however, it is not: consider, for example, the small child who speaks proper English more or less natively. On the playground, proper English is just not a comfortable choice.
     
  7. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    :) I took debate in college to force myself to learn to speak in front of others (I was verrrrrrry shy). I loved the class and my instructor was very supportive (he even asked me to join the debate team - I was very honored at that). There was one little problem, though, he was a "yankee" from New England and really worked at having us break our drawl. I argued that it was our culture and insisted on having ya'll or git in every speech. I lost a point each time, but he took it the way I intended. I still say ya'll, but I work very hard on helping my kids understand the difference in having a drawl and butchering the language. I talk to them about 1st impressions and always do the woman in a trailer park after a tornado. Of course I make it very extreme, but it gets the point across. I definitely could have better grammar, but I try! :)
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I happen to like the drawl and the Southern second person plural... but, um, is there any chance I could persuade people to move that apostrophe one letter to the left? That is, y'all? Ya'll always makes me think of you'll, which means something quite different.

    A Briticism for second person plural, by the way, is you lot. Well into Middle English, the distinction was between thou/thee (singular, familiar, like Spanish or French tu/te) and ye/you (plural or formal). By the time of Good Queen Bess, when thou was on its way out of the language, there was a brief attempt to fill the resulting linguistic gap by allowing you to take a singular verb: that is, you is/was (singular) to contrast with you are/were (plural). The attempt was unsuccessful, or to make a linguist's joke, ill-starred.
     
  9. jd123

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    Keep in mind that there is a difference between casual conversation, where "gonna", "usta", and "didja" are used, and formal speech. If we're havin' a conversation in the park while swingin' our kids, I'm not "gonna" enunciate every word (that might sound unnatural or even snobbish). However, in school or a more formal setting, or in writing (unless you're writing like Mark Twain), you wouldn't use such an informal way of speaking. I don't think necessarily has to be indicator of intellegence. However, students need to be taught that using correct grammar in certain situations does give a better impression. Someone called it money talk. Just like you would wear one type of clothing to the beach and another to a job interview, there is one way of speaking in one situation and another way in a different situation. I think this is called code switching.
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    ;) You've got it! I really don't remember when I moved it, but somewhere along the line I'm sure it sounded right! :D I talk to my kids about our lazy southern tongue and those "missing" letters. It actually makes spelling tough!

     
  11. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    YES!
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    "Code switching" is the term, yes.
     
  13. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Yes, the term is correctly spelled y'all, and I use it extensively. The use of colloquialisms is different from spouting poor grammar and/or spelling. I have tutored college students who had no idea how to string a sentence together, much less spell the words! I have to agree that your words are often the first impression given by you, and they do influence other people's perception of you.
     
  14. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    I tend to be more judgemental on writing than on speaking. As a linguistics major, I take the stance that languages are forever changing and evolving. The way people speak has to do with their social background and the dialects that develop within their circles (for the most part), so rather than judge it, I see it as a mark of individuality. However, if that is tranferred into writing, THAT drives me crazy. I am of the opinion that the written word is meant to be more formal than the spoken word. Still, some spoken mistakes do get under my skin, like adding an 's' on you to make it plural or using the word ain't, or saying something like: "I don't got none" instead of "I don't have any" Not pronouncing certain sounds properly gets me too like the previously mentioned example of 'birfday'. Intentional changes like saying you guys or 'later' for goodbye is fine by me, though.
     
  15. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Now is that the southern spelling? I ask because I have only hear it pronounced as "ya'll" I think we should get an expert in here to set us right on the Pronunciation. maybe we could get Governor ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER to help us.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    His is a southern accent, all right... very southern German.
     
  17. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    You know your Geography.
     
  18. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    I moved to Chicagoland from Nashville the summer before my sophomore year in high school. I sitll say "y'all" sometimes, and I feel it's more politically corect than "you guys" (and yes, y'all is the proper spelling, because the apostrophe takes the place of the "ou" in you.).

    My co-teacher will ask kids to "off the lights" instead of turning off the lights.

    And speaking of "ask," it has an "s" in it, and NO X. An ax is something to chop wood with.
     
  19. srh

    srh Devotee

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    I too am a picky person with grammar, spelling, and writing. But....even though I instruct my students to use proper language and model it the best I can, I am HAPPY to hear some of my little folks simply SPEAK. I've seen some people focus more on getting things "correct" than on listening to kids who just need someone to hear them. There are times when it is more important NOT to push a point than to "get it right." Regional dialects, lack of education in the home, and who knows what else, are often to blame for a child not learning standard English. Constant picking at them may only make them withdraw!

    (I know that is not the main point in this thread, but I just want to throw out a small defense for some. We just need to choose our battles at times!)
     
  20. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    :rolleyes: Has any one answered Tigers' question yet?:mad:
     
  21. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    EEK!:rolleyes: This one irritates the crud out of me! I hear it ALL the time!!!
     
  22. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    Why would it be more politically correct to refer to a mixed gender group as 'you guys'? That's why I use 'you all' (without the southern drawl), I don't care for saying 'you guys' all the time.

    As far as spelling, in the case of 'you all', the apostrophe would be replacing the dropped part of the word 'you', so the correct way to spell this would be "y'all", in my opinion. I don't see how 'y'all' is different that any other contraction. Saying 'don't' or 'you're' is not considered grammatically incorrect, it just reflects the way people speak and have turned two words into one.
     
  23. La Profesora

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    To give at least a partial answer to Tigers' questions.

    If you look at Spanglish, Ebonics, some of the gang dialect, business speak, proper English (like the way to queen speaks), and other regional dialects, you can speculate as to where someone came from.

    The best example I can think of is my town here on the Mexican border. There is one way that people speak who are from one "side of town." There is the way people speak from across the border. There is the way people speak from further into Mexico. And there is a definite way people speak who are from the rich Mexican elite. Within each of those subgroups, you often hear more vocabulary from the more intelligent. Dare I say more intelligent people use a broader spectrum of words, regardless of their backgrounds?
     
  24. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    As far as pronouncing 'ask' as 'akes', that seems to be only done in the Black community. I wonder how that got started? It can be totally ubiquitous. It doesn't bother me, since it seems to be a variation of pronouciation, not a grammar mistake, although it might not be helpful to speak this way if one wants to move into a higher level career wise, since it's more associated with the lower classes within the Black community.
     
  25. MimiBee

    MimiBee Companion

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    corporal tunnel = carpal tunnel
    I seen/we seen
    fumb = thumb
    don't gotta
    wander = wonder

    Just a few of the things I hear regularly. Another HUGE pet peeve of mine follows: (After this, I'm sure a bunch of you will be saying them out loud to check how you pronounce the words.)

    Mondee, Tuesdee, Wednesdee, Thursdee, Fridee, Saturdee, Sundee.
    It's DAY people...pronounced DAY. MonDAY, TuesDAY...Do we say, "What is todee's date?" Or "I went to the store yesterdee?" How about "What dee is our meeting?" "Todee is my birthdee." DAY, DAY, DAY!!!
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The Old English verb was spelled acsian or axian - so in fact that pronunciation with /ks/ rather than /sk/ is older. It's fairly common in languages for the consonant cluster /ks/ in the middle of a word to undergo metathesis, or transposition.
     
  27. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Oh, I couldn't resist! :) Here are....
    I hear "Teacher, I ain't got no..." all day long! I repeat back, "You don't have...?"
    As for syntax, I also have more than 90% hispanics, and on the weekends I'll catch myself talking like an ELL! Yesterday, I was talking to another teacher and I said, "You have sickness?" when she said she didn't feel well. We both laughed. (Yo tengo enfermo?)
     
  28. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    Oh, how interesting. Thanks.
     
  29. misswhammy

    misswhammy Rookie

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    Trust me, saying "axe" instead of "ask" is a color blind issue. It is not dependent upon skin color. I live in Cajun country and unfortunately a large majority of the people here use the incorrect term.
     
  30. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Complaint-Teachers who use incorrect grammar (chat version)

    Code switching is going back and forth between one language and another. I am loving this discussion, especially with the information on the language from Teacher Groupie. Cool!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2007
  31. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    LOVE IT!!!!!!
     
  32. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    Out west it's only heard among Blacks. It must originate in the South then.
     
  33. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    I agree, this is facinating.
     
  34. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Thanks! :) Now I gotta' get to work, ya'll!
     
  35. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    I love it when they ask if they can go to the bathroom. I say, "I don't know can you" or "I hope so?" And they say, "why do all the teachers say that?" You'd think they would learn after the first few times!
     
  36. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I don't know about that. My hubby, gotta love him, he tries but well sometimes his grammer just isn't what it should be. He is from a very small Texas town. He has traveled the world and is spending time right now in another country. He has moved on from his very humble beginnings but just can't get the grammar. I don't think when he was deciding to serve our country that they even thought about his grammar skills. I personally do not judge a person by his grammar skills, especially when my own stunk at times. Sorry should I say stink at times.
     
  37. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    Anyalee hit on my favorite one. "Can I go to the bathroom really fast?" I've considered sending the kids to the bathroom with a stopwatch! "Can I go to the bathroom?" is always answered, "I'm not a doctor. I'm not going to examine you to find out. How about you ask if you *may* go and then you come back here and tell me if you can or not?"
     
  38. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    ok yous guys stop makn fun of da way I tauk
     
  39. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Despite my grammatically incorrect request, is no one willing to speak their judgements, which some of us freely admit to making?

    You will not hurt my feelings. I just thought we could play a game to test the theory.
     
  40. MimiBee

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    Another one....people who use the apostrophe to denote the plural form of a word as opposed to showing possession.

    Example: "A whole pack of dog's just ran by the window!"
    "Some of the teacher's want to know if...."
     
  41. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I am working hard and removing ain't from my kids' vocabulary. (Even though they claim that it's in the dictionary so it's a real word. I remind them that there are several words in the dictionary they aren't allowed to use!) My pet peeve is brung. They rattle off irregular verbs and right in the middle is bring, brang, and they all say "brung" and keep on going. It's like fingernails on the chalkboard to me. I even had one of my boys wear a really big pink sign saying "Brung is not a word!" around his neck. I even took a picture to send to his mom. (She thought it was hilarious and wished me luck in making him stop saying it.)
     
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