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.
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