My brilliant idea

12th January 2007 at 00:00

Ages 9 to 11

We look at non-standard English phrases that a lot of the children use with great regularity, such as "Me and Sally went...", "I haven't got no money left," "He ain't...", "We done that...", etc.

Pupils look at a few on the SMARTboard and identify what they would change, before doing some written work on this with the title, "Clangers".

They don't feel at all put down, as long as you stress that it's not wrong in itself, but to be avoided in writing, and definitely in exams.

The fun bit is the follow-up. The next day, I tell them that in the course of the morning, I will on three occasions drop a "clanger". If I do, they must immediately put their hand up, and shout "CLANGER!" They get a merit for each one correctly identified, as long as a correct alternative is offered.

Amusingly, six weeks later, they still often correct each other (as well as me) by saying "clanger!" at appropriate moments

David Grundy teaches at Tilney St Lawrence Primary in Norfolk

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