Do linguists think that teaching prescriptive grammar should be banned at school? It bombards students with controversial statements they can’t evaluate yet and gives them a wrong idea of what linguistics is about.

You may be surprised to hear me say this, given the debate I’ve just had on a related question, but not quite.

Kids have to learn how to speak Job Interview.

Linguistics, as a science, dispassionately observes the fact that there is such a variant of the language as Job Interview. Linguistics knows that native speakers of Job Interview are not innately smarter, more virtuous, or more sexy than native speakers of Da Langwij Of Da Streetz. But linguistics also has no business preventing school from equipping kids with learning how to speak Job Interview. We don’t live in Chomskyland, we live in the real world.

Linguistics, however, would appreciate it if, when teachers do teach their kids how to speak Job Interview, they don’t also say that people who speak Job Interview are innately smarter, more virtuous, or more sexy. It’s just another language, appropriate in another context. And FWIW, at least some English curricula do attempt to do that.

Answered 2017-08-14 · Upvoted by

Logan R. Kearsley, MA in Linguistics from BYU, 8 years working in research for language pedagogy. and

Joe Devney, Master’s in Linguistics, professional writer.

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