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Adopt a word

Is "globish" - using only the 1,500 most common English words - on the rise in your classroom? If so, it may be time to take up a charity's invitation to adopt a word.

The charity I Can, which runs two special schools for children with communication problems and trains teachers to work with them, is asking people to pay Pounds 20-Pounds 30 to take ownership of a word for a year.

The words on offer include a selection about to be deleted from the Collins Dictionary in 2009, several new ones that are poised to make an appearance, plus obscure and Christmas-themed words.

Schools will be told about the scheme this week, but the charity is not planning to produce any accompanying classroom resources. Teachers may wonder whether the scheme could bring out sesquipedalian tendencies in a class of hobbledehoys.

A spokesman for the National Association for the Teaching of English said: "Anything that raises awareness of the diversity and beauty of the English language is a good thing, and if it is a good cause and the aims of the charity are valid, then I am fully behind it.

"Words of the week or the day are well tried teaching tools in English. It sounds like a bit of fun. But a good way of adopting hundreds of thousands of words is to buy a dictionary."

Jane Blueit, an English teacher at Bilborough College in Nottingham, said: "It sounds like a wonderful way of bringing words to life."

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