We know what u mean, m8. Innit?

Teachers increasingly accept pupils' slang as the norm in the classroom

David Rogers

Nearly two-thirds of teachers know what pupils mean when they use slang in the classroom.

A survey for the television station Teachers TV found that teachers have to put up with phrases such as innit and mobile phone text slang such as Gr8 regularly littering exam papers and essays.

One teacher said that the worst example of the use of slang he had ever come across was: "Hitler was majorly bad."

But perhaps the most revealing part of the survey is that teachers feel increasingly well versed in the use of slang; 58.5 per cent of those questioned say they understand what pupils are saying when they use such language.

For example, more than three-quarters of them say they know vanilla checks is slang for boring clothes, more than half know that klingon means a younger brother or sister and nearly half say they know that phat means great.

Andrew Bethell, chief executive of Teachers TV, said: "Pupils are increasingly communicating through colloquial language in the classroom, with some teachers accepting this as the norm.

"The poll has highlighted that in some cases this choice of language allows pupils to be expressive."

The survey revealed that "expressive" answers given by pupils when writing about Shakespeare included "Macbeth, he is well wicked", "Macbeth was pure mental" and "Romeo was a numty, wasn't he?"

But teachers say the biggest slang bugbear is the use of "text speak". The word you is often substituted by u, while mate becomes m8 and great becomes Gr8.

One teacher told the researchers: "During my PGCE year, a paper asked students to write an informal letter, which one student wrote in text slang which was so difficult to translate it took four teachers sitting round a coffee table to mark it."

Another teacher respondent said: "Pupils had forgotten how to write as they spent so much time texting."

Among the examples teachers had to read was "I noe u dnt noee mii, I donno huu u r" (I know you do not know me, I do not know who you are).

More than 500 teachers and other education professionals took part in the survey.


- Hitler was majorly bad

- fink

- innit

- b4

- it was well good

- coz

- should of

- ur

Other examples

Q: What is selective breeding?

A: You get your best cow. You get your other best cow. You get them to sh*g and you get a better cow.

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David Rogers

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