Do you ‘correct’ pupils’ Scots?

Trade unions
Do you take pride in the Scottish language spoken by your students, or do you dismiss it as slang and insist on ‘correcting’ their speech? James Forbes explains.

From the time when I studied teaching in Glasgow, I recall one particular lecture about multiculturalism and diversity. The students were asked to read silently a story written in what appeared to us to be standard English. 

It told of a boy who had the cold. He jagged his pinkie in the byre and went to his bed thereafter. We read without batting an eyelid and were flabbergasted when the lecturer explained that our ease in reading the passage was an indication of our Scottish identity and heritage. 

It seems that other English speakers get “a cold” rather than “the cold”. 

“To jag” is apparently a uniquely Scottish verb and the pinkie, which I think everybody understands nowadays, is known elsewhere as “the little finger”. As for going to your bed – the lecturer explained that English people would ask: “Well, who else’s bed would you go to?” 

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