Trainee teachers feel forced to ‘suppress’ northern accents in the classroom

The Manchester Evening News is reporting that trainee teachers with northern accents are being told to change the way they speak, according to a new study.

Research, conducted by The University of Manchester , has found student teachers with northern accents are under pressure to speak ‘the Queen’s English’.

The report found accents associated with the Home Counties are more favoured by the teacher training profession.

Many trainee teachers feel they are ‘selling out’ after changing their accents to be understood in the classroom, having been told to do so by their mentors.

Linguistics expert Dr Alex Baratta explored teacher’s accents, identity and linguistic prejudice in schools based in the south of England.

The research, according to Dr Baratta, exposes a culture of linguistic prejudice for a profession which would not tolerate any prejudice based on race or religion.

Almost all of the participants admitted their accent had been picked-up on by mentors, leading to teaching staff feeling they were forced to neglect their ‘true voice’.

One participant from the Midlands claimed a mentor with a southern accent said she would be ‘best to go back to where you came from’, in relation to her pronunciation.

Dr Baratta said: “There is a respect and tolerance for diversity in society, yet accents do not seem to get this treatment – they are the last form of acceptable prejudice.

More at: Trainee teachers feel forced to ‘suppress’ northern accents in the classroom

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  1. JordanVorderman

    SchoolsImprove I’m assuming this means ‘trainee teachers in the south’, not all trainee teachers.

  2. TheMorganics

    heenamodi SchoolsImprove It’s snobbery too. One of the things I love about our country is diversity of dialects.

  3. StephenMcChrystal

    I was brought up on Merseyside and spent 22 years teaching in London and Tunbridge Wells. I had to be understood so I was clear and exact with my speech. Sounds like a small minority of mentors are up their own bottoms.

  4. Nairb1

    No change then. Teacher training in the south in the late 60’s I had to attend special ‘speech development’ sessions aimed at getting rid of my flat northern vowels. Fortunately I still say ‘bath’ and ‘grass’ rather than than ‘barth’ and ‘grarss’.

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