To what extent does a regional dialect and accent impact on the development of reading and writing skills?

Julia Snell, Richard Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The issue of whether a regional accent and/or dialect impact(s) on the development of literacy skills remains current in the UK. For decades the issue has dogged debate concerning education outcomes, portable skills and employability. This article summarises research on the topic using systematic review methodology. A scoping review was undertaken with the research question: ‘To what extent does a regional dialect and accent impact on the development of reading and writing skills?’ The review covers research relevant to the teaching of five to 16-year-olds in England, but also draws on research within Europe, the USA, Australia and the Caribbean. The results suggest that curricula have marginalised language variation; that the impact of regional accent and dialect on writing is relatively minor; that young people are adept at style-shifting between standard and non-standard forms; and that inappropriate pedagogical responses to regional variation can have detrimental effects on children’s educational achievement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-313
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Volume47
Issue number3
Early online date29 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Accent
  • dialect
  • non-standard dialect
  • language variation
  • Standard English
  • literacy
  • writing

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