Letter: Rights and wrongs of teaching standard English

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a recently retired teacher of English, trained during the liberal Sixties and having spent a working life swimming against the progressive tide, all I can say is thank goodness for a return to common sense, phonics and prescription in the teaching of English.

Teachers should not have to feel guilt for teaching grammar and spelling and so-called 'Standard English', but should be commended for giving all children the opportunities which access to 'middle-class' language create. Is it any wonder that we are left with a generation which includes graduates who can't spell, journalists who don't recognise a split infinitive when they use one and politicians who can't work out whether the word Government is a singular or a plural noun?

Yours faithfully,


St Just,


16 April