Against ‘Pupil-Friendly’ Language

The Stable Oyster

Last November, I blogged on the challenges we face when it comes to the limited vocabulary among our pupils. I wrote about how this may impact on reading ability and the identified correlations with poverty. Here, I look at vocabulary again, with a focus on how we adapt our language for teenagers. I believe that simplifying our language is contributing to this Great Word Drought.

My daughter is two. She’s a typical two-year-old and coming out with tens of new words every day. Every parent likes to marvel at the language acquisition of his/her child; it’s incredible to witness. My toddler come out with utterances that make me stop in my tracks and think, ‘where did she learn that?!’ She’s limited at this age, though, when it comes to processing complex instructions and she don’t always understand everything that we explain to them. Her phonological realisation isn’t fully developed either…

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