An examiniation of attitudes to Scots dialects in the English classroom
Burns, Catherine M.
In the following enquiry I would like, first of all, to look at the historical background surrounding the area of dialect in the school and its importance as part of a pupil's social and cultural identity. I would then like to examine the importance of general attitudes towards dialect and to look specifically at how teachers approach this area in the classroom. My analysis of this is derived from a questionnaire I put to teachers, my own observation, informal conversations with teachers and discussions with pupils arising out of lessons that I taught. The questions that I was interested in enquiring into were: what Scots literature did teachers teach at each level of the school? Was it ever considered appropriate to allow use of dialect in written work? Was use of dialect penalised in talk exercises? Do teachers ever discuss language issues with their classes and what resources might be used in heightening awareness of language and dialect?