Is banning slang in schools the answer to poor literacy problem?

There are two skills which are essential in helping people get through life; literacy and numeracy. These skills should be nourished from an early age and schools act as the main source of helping to develop our abilities. Unfortunately, something is being done wrong somewhere, thousands of Children find themselves struggling with English and Maths and consequently leave school without ‘good’ grades in both subjects at GCSE.  Now we ask: is there a reason for the decline in literacy levels and would banning slang in schools solve the problem?


One school in Sheffield certainly thinks a ban on slang in and around the school would help increase literacy levels amongst their pupils which is why they have implemented one. The school claims that by enforcing a policy of using only standard forms of English whilst on the premises, children will become use to communicating in a way which will help them to progress through life. Communication will be key within all aspects of their lives and a comprehensive grasp of the English will be hugely beneficial to them, especially when it comes to business.


Is banning slang really the solution to the huge literacy problems we’re facing here in the UK? It may go some way to help reduce the size of the issue but there are many other factors that contribute to the matter. One of the biggest factors in the decline of literacy levels is the lack of engagement in schools. Pupils too often complain of lessons being ‘boring’ and that the syllabuses are repetitive. Children need to enjoy learning and be taught things in a way which not only makes it easy to understand but is interesting too.


Then there is the issue of time spent outside the traditional learning environment – language is influenced by everything and everyone around you. How much good is a ban on slang in schools going to do if the children go home at the end of the day and communicate in slang and abbreviations. Add to this the language they are exposed to through television, radio and the web and you are left with an even bigger problem: a problem which can not be solved so easily.


The exact solution to the literacy problem is unknown but what is clear is that things need to change and schools need to take action: starting with re-engaging pupils with English. We can only keep trying to do more to help our children have a good understanding of language until literacy levels become ‘on the up’ once again.


If you know someone who is struggling with their literacy or could simply do with a few extra English lessons then we are here to help. Tutors4GCSE provide English tuition for pupils at all levels, from primary to A-Level, we even have adult literacy programmes. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you reach your full potential.

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