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(140 Posts)
GrandmaKT Tue 12-Jan-21 20:45:18

We live in the NE and my DGC are in the SE. My son sent me one of their home schooling sheets this week....

It is about when 'a' says 'ar'. Examples given were 'after' and 'afternoon', which I can just about live with, but then

'daft', 'raft', 'dance'!

I really don't want my DC speaking like that!

It also made me think - do teachers use different resources depending on the area they are teaching in? I really can't see this worksheet being used in our area.

Bodach Wed 13-Jan-21 23:01:25




I don't know the difference in pronunciation of whales and Wales.

I know that one is a country and one lives in the sea. They sound the same to me.

Imagine a Scottish person saying whales and you'll perhaps hear the difference. It's not usually so distinct south of the border.

Thank you, GrannyRose15 and LauraNorder, for spreading the word. Now to eradicate the even more slipshod 'Febuary'!

Doodledog Thu 14-Jan-21 06:15:37

It’s interesting that so many have commented that southern accents are ‘posh’, and northern ones ‘common’. Why is that?

I also find it very amusing when people claim to have no accent. Everyone has an accent. Received Pronunciation is as much of an accent as Scouse or Brizzle or Brummie.

So long as people can be understood, and children are taught Standard English (not the same thing as Received Pronunciation) I think that accents and dialect should be encouraged, as media saturation is endangering them, and there is a risk of their dying out.

Worse, they could be replaced with ‘incoming’ words from tv, such as the dreaded ‘uni’ which came into English, I believe, from Australian soap operaswink

Bathsheba Thu 14-Jan-21 09:40:15

Now this is interesting: I just realised that, although I say baath, not bath, I do not call myself baathsheba, but bathsheba grin

Bossyrossy Thu 14-Jan-21 09:46:36

When in Rome...........

MaizieD Thu 14-Jan-21 10:11:33

In response to your oh so familiar and unscientific defence of 'whole words' , and the old and erroneous chestnuts about 'phonics' I would suggest that you read 'Reading in the Brain' by Stanislaus Dehane. Not a teacher at all, but a nueroscientist who set out to examine the 'reading mechanism' in the brain.

A bit of familiarity with eye movement research would help, too.

I've been debating 'phonics' for nearly 20 years now and nothing you can say or recommend to read is unfamiliar to me!

according to your theory all children in all schools should now be reading at a really good level, but they aren't, currently a substantial number of people have the literacy level of below 11 years. It is over 20 years since the first phonics programme was introduced into schools, so there should be some evidence of its effect.

Phonics is much older than whole word, you know. Whole word learning was developed in the 19th C for teaching deaf children to read because they couldn't 'hear' the discrete phonemes in words. It's so odd that teachers cling fiercely to its methods!

It is also much longer than 20 years ago that the first phonics programmes were reintroduced in schools. Jolly Phonics was around in the 1980s. However. Just because programmes existed it doesn't mean that they were used. As an ex teacher you should be well aware of that.
And the National Literacy Strategy from the late 90s, which was supposed to inform all teaching of 'literacy,' completely marginalised phonics teaching in favour of whole word/look and say. Any so called 'phonics' in it was completely dire.

Even with the mandating of structured phonics instruction for the teaching of reading by the tories in 2012 the fact that teachers are not properly trained in it, with so few unis doing it properly and so many unis staffed by phonics sceptics and denialists, it's not surprising that materials, such as GG13s 'barth' idiocy are common and that some children still don't get a full and proper understanding of how to read and spell the written word.

When you refer to 'people' having a level of below 11 years you fail to tell me what age group you're referring to. I think it might be better to reserve judgement until the 2012+ generation are being studied, post education...
Most adults below the age of 50 were recipients of the Whole Word, or mixed methods mode of teaching reading. They have a high level of illiteracy.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 14-Jan-21 10:35:57

We are doing split diagraphs (sp) today, along with Wh and W

Rumour is that teachers are preparing for homeschooling up until the Easter break.

trisher Thu 14-Jan-21 11:16:56

MaizieD I was teaching phonics way before the Jolly Phonics came out. It was one of the strategies I was taught in a highly structured and comprehensive teaching of reading course provided at my teacher training college in the late 1960s, along with look and say and word recognition. It was the most successful reading programme I ever used. It was of course scorned and condemned by all of those who chose to jump on the current educational bandwagon, be that ita, real reading or phonics. A mixed approach is in my opinion the only way to teach children to read succesfully.
In 2016 adolescents in England had a lower literacy rate than any of these countries
They also had a lower literacy rate than over 55s.
I have looked at the evidence about current thinking on word recognition and I think it is interesting. What it fails to explain is how children taught word recognition alongside phonics could adequately read words like 'aeroplane' long before they could actually recognise all the phonics involved. It may be some sort of 'trick' but for children learning to read it was an enormously successful trick which boosted their confidence and led them to read with pleasure, using phonics as an aid but not stumbling through every word. There are over 55s out there who learned through such methods.

Tangerine Thu 14-Jan-21 11:48:47

If your grandchildren live in the south of England, they are almost bound to end up with southern accents. They may retain a tinge of a northern accent if their parents have northern accents.

I know, in Liverpool, people pronounce were, where and wear in the same way which can lead to confusion if their children move to the south and go to school. In spelling tests in the south, were in not pronounced the same as where and wear.

I love different accents.

Tangerine Thu 14-Jan-21 11:49:28

Sorry, mean is in first line of third paragraph.

Tangerine Thu 14-Jan-21 11:50:09

Sorry, I'll get it right in a minute. I meant in the last line of the third para!

GrandmaKT Thu 14-Jan-21 12:31:25

Well, I didn't expect a comment about my grandchildren's worksheet to expand into such a wide-ranging and interesting conversation. The joy of Gransnet! I have enjoyed all the comments, especially those from experienced early years phonics teachers.

BlueBelle, you made me chuckle by saying that I was out of touch and then proclaiming that you have no accent(!) and that phonics resources cannot have regional variations - both statements demonstrating that it is you who is out of touch! As experts on this thread have stated, resources are chosen according to geographical area. (Fortunately so, as any teacher telling children in the NW that they should pronounce path as parth would be laughed out of school!)

I accept absolutely that my GC (in SE England and NZ) have different accents to me. It all makes for a more interesting world! I was just objecting to putting unnecessary 'r's into words.

I had been thinking along the same lines as you Doodledog, it is interesting that many people are equating a 'posh' accent as a southern one. As we all travel around more for work I think and hope that this opinion is becoming less prevalent.

Marydoll Thu 14-Jan-21 12:49:52

I was going to bypass this thread, as having no relevance to me, that is until I had to do some Zoom Jolly Phonics lessons with my DGD this week.

I had forgotten about the variations in pronunciation and that some of the examples caused confusion for our pupils, due to their Glasgow accents. grin

trisher Thu 14-Jan-21 13:00:38

If we go back to the bus and butter debate. It does occur to me thatthe Queen says "bas" and "batter".
When I grew up one way of winding my mum up was to speak with the broad accent used by my country cousins. We used to repeat this rhyme- it only works with a Yorkshire accent
"What's the matter?
Pig's in t'water.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 14-Jan-21 13:18:14

Language teachers have long since realised that the so-called Estuary English is gaining ground. It has the intrusive r in words where you and I would never dream of one.

Judging by the BBC people all over Britain are saying "drarw" and "drawring" instead of "draw" and "drawing" now.

I find it ugly ´, but then the Phonetics I was taught in Primary 1 in 1956 talking about sound a as ay or as aah.

Basically, you can correct your grandchildren as much as you like, they will speak as their generation speak, whatever we suggest.

I have mentioned before that my great-aunts went to the chimist to pick up their prescriptions . now you would never hear that and they had been taught the chemist was wrong, or so they said.

Grandma70s Thu 14-Jan-21 13:28:28

I grew up in Wirral and have always said ‘bahth’ and ‘grahss’ for bath and grass, rather than the short a sound as in ‘bat’. People who live in the north don’t all speak alike, any more than people in the south do. My grandchildren live in London and they don’t sound like Dot Cotton. In fact, they and I speak in much the same way. I expect there are small regional differences, but nothing very noticeable. RP (for want of a better term) is the same all over the country. It isn’t regional.

trisher Thu 14-Jan-21 13:50:15

We should have a list "drarw" and "drawring" were as big a no-nos as "fillum" I seem to remember-any more?

Grandma70s Thu 14-Jan-21 14:17:25

What about singing, in school or elsewhere? In a good choir, everyone has to use the same pronunciation of vowels if the sound is to blend properly. A friend of mine taught music in various schools, both private and state, in Cheshire. She was told she was not to ‘correct’ the children’s pronunciation. Very reasonably she pointed out that she had to use some sort of standard if her choirs were to be any good.

MamaCaz Thu 14-Jan-21 17:24:31

"What's the matter?"
"Pig's in t'water"

In my part of Yorkshire, that wouldn't have rhymed. 😄
Not amongst my generation, anyway, but probably amongst my grandparents'.

My generation must have got quite posh, as 'wa(r)ter', with a long 'a' was the norm, not 'watter'.
But we would have been less refined on the question - it would normally have been cut down to "What's matter?", with a glottal stop between the two words (just as we would have had a glottal stop between 'in' and 'water in the reply).

I find language, its variations and its evolution really interesting 😄

LullyDully Thu 14-Jan-21 17:55:58

When I taught in London u was pronounced in a southern way, when I moved to Birmingham I changed the pronunciation to suit the children . As a teacher you have to adapt to the situation to help the pupils you have before you to learn. being in the South has little to do with being posh. The children I taught in Whitechapel were not a bit posh.

As has been said before ,there is no one way for a child to learn to read. Some children are good orally and some are good visually.
I always remember a 6 year old in Birmingham who couldn't read much at all when he went home one Friday and came back on Monday as a fluent reader. He was absorbing the skills needed before he was prepared to demonstrate them. Each child is different, that is why teaching reading is such an interesting task. A puzzle at every turn

MamaCaz Fri 15-Jan-21 12:39:29

Maybe it's just me - I still can't hear a difference between 'whale(s)' and 'Wales'!

(Sorry for this deviation from the OP, but as this has been mentioned on here already, it seems the obvious place to post this. ☺)

MaizieD Fri 15-Jan-21 12:54:56

In 2016 adolescents in England had a lower literacy rate than any of these countries They also had a lower literacy rate than over 55s.

And why do you think that might be, trisher? Anything to do with the fact that they were all taught by 'mixed methods'?

MaizieD Fri 15-Jan-21 12:58:36


Maybe it's just me - I still can't hear a difference between 'whale(s)' and 'Wales'!

(Sorry for this deviation from the OP, but as this has been mentioned on here already, it seems the obvious place to post this. ☺)

I have talked 'phonics' on many message boards and forums and, unless the discussion involves only people who teach reading, it always ends up as a discussion of the way people pronounce words and regional accents . That is actually related to phonetics, not phonics, but a good time is always had by all... grin

trisher Fri 15-Jan-21 13:42:28

MamaCaz That's just reminded me of the story used in Jolly Phonics to explain the "h" in words like when and where. W is Winnie the witch and H is Harry the hairy hat man. When he is next to her Winnie consistently hits Harry on the head so he can't say anything until they get to 'who"when he gets fed up and hits her on the head.
My primary school teacher -who said "wun" also insisted that the "h" in those words was pronounced. Think of it as breathing out slightly more through the lips as you say the "w".

Alexa Fri 15-Jan-21 13:53:02

Received pronunciation was and still is to a large extent considered posh because it was the form of language acquired through birth or education by the rulers of society. These elite groups were to be found in the south of England, close to the seat of government, and among old aristocrats and newly rich who sent their children to schools where they were trained in received pronunciation.

Richer people, aristocratic landowners and industrialists, from the North , sent their children to schools where received pronunciation was taught.

MamaCaz Fri 15-Jan-21 14:33:35

I have talked 'phonics' on many message boards and forums and, unless the discussion involves only people who teach reading, it always ends up as a discussion of the way people pronounce words and regional accents . That is actually related to phonetics, not phonics, but a good time is always had by all... grin

Well, I don't know if it's an acceptable excuse, but I did at least acknowledge and apologise in advance for my deviation from the OP. 🙂