Let pupils spik as they find

29th August 1997 at 01:00
Teachers in SNP-run Moray should not correct a pupil when he says he "disna like sittin atween aa thae quines" or that he "bides in the Broch noo". They should recognise the cultural and linguistic identity of pupils in the north-east and welcome any dialect.

The education committee on Tuesday approved a draft policy on Scots language in line with proposals from the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum, which is reviewing Scots language and culture in the curriculum.

The arguments for teaching native language and culture are not based on "misplaced sentimentality", but on valuing the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of all pupils and promoting self-esteem, the council says. "It will be difficult for children to value other cultures if they are not taught about their own," a paper states. Pupils' self-worth will be enhanced if they are supported in their native tongue.

Teachers who recognise the value of Scots language will not damage pupils' competence in Standard English, the council argues. The presence of two large RAF bases ensures a significant proportion of Moray's population comes from outwith Scotland but the council points out incomers are often the strongest proponents of local culture. However, teachers should be aware of the diverse linguistic backgrounds of pupils and be sensitive in teaching Scots language and culture.

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