ugc_banner

London school bans slang terms to 'guide' the students

WION Web Team
NEW DELHIUpdated: Oct 01, 2021, 02:16 PM IST

Schools in the US have re-opened with mask mandates as Covid cases declined in some states. Representative image. Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

The school said the specific words and phrases on the list were selected because they were “showing up a lot in pupils’ work” and it stressed the importance of pupils expressing themselves “clearly and accurately”

A secondary school in London, Ark All Saints academy is trying to stop its students from using “basically” at the beginning of sentences and it is also trying to get rid of phrases such as “oh my days” in a crackdown on “fillers” and “slang” in the classroom. 

The school has come up with a list of “banned” language which includes “he cut his eyes at me”. Also, the students should not be able to use “that’s long”, which can mean something that is tedious, or “that’s a neck” which indicates a comment or action is stupid. “Bare”, “wow”, “cuss” and “oh my God” are also out.

Expressions that must not be used at the beginning of sentences include, “ermmm”, “because”, “no”, “like”, “say”, “you see”, “you know”, and “basically”.

The list has drawn criticism from linguists. They have described it as “crude and shortsighted … a disservice and discredit to young people”.

However, the teachers argue that this guides the students to use language that fits more formal situations.

The school said the specific words and phrases on the list were selected because they were “showing up a lot in pupils’ work” and it stressed the importance of pupils expressing themselves “clearly and accurately”.

Lucy Frame, the principal at the school in Camberwell, south-east London, was quoted by The Guardian as saying, "The development of reading and speaking skills is a central part of what drives our school to help our students learn effectively and fulfil their potential in academic and non-academic ways."

“None of the words or phrases listed are banned from general use in our school or when our students are interacting socially.

But this list is used in some formal learning settings to help students understand the importance of expressing themselves clearly and accurately, not least through written language in examinations.”