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Do you correct other children's improper language? - Page 2

post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
And personally, I just avoid the issue by saying "fine" .
My father is an English professor, and corrected my grammar when I was growing up. (Which I found as annoying then as I do know.)

I remember being told that I should say "This is she" when I answered the phone and the person asked to speak with me. It's correct, but feels stiff. I realized I could avoid the whole issue if I just said, "speaking."
post #22 of 51
Thread Starter 
at Odenata!

Thanks, everyone! I've enjoyed reading this little beast I started. Thanks for all of your input. Honestly, haven't decided which tack I'm going to take yet...
post #23 of 51
As the mother of the kid with the speech delay, I beg you not to help with my kid's grammar. I know people try to be helpful, but that is what he goes to speech therapy for. She spent as much time correcting the mistakes made by teachers and family as she did teaching him. If you want to parrot it back correctly, that's fine. It's called recasting.

Keep in mind that while saying her instead of she seems like a big deal to some people, the parents may just be thrilled the child has the sex right. Please above all don't correct my kid for using his first name instead of I or me. I know his sitter meant well, but it took six months to fix that one. He called himself you and everyone else I.
post #24 of 51
I can she see he'd think that. Because when others talk about him they say "you" and when they talk about themselves they say "I." So of course he thinks he's "you" and everyone else is I. I never thought of that.
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjej View Post
So in this situation I'd say, "oh yes! She does have cute feet."
That's what I'd do.
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjej View Post
With my own kids I will usually parrot back to them (conversationally), but with the right word. So in this situation I'd say, "oh yes! She does have cute feet."
Yep.

I babysit a 6 year old, and when he mispronounces a word I will correct him. Like he says Skeleton, skel-ken. But I babysit him 20 hours a week, so I feel like he should learn something from me!
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by odenata View Post
"I'm good" is correct. There's a good explanation of it here.
What a great explanation! Thank you for posting it.
post #28 of 51
I'd parrot. And I'd probably want to mimic, just because I think those little "mis-speaks" are adorable in small children.
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Heck my students today were lamenting that they didn't know whether the response to "How are you?" should be "I'm good" or "I'm well" because they'd been corrected too many times. (It's good, by the way, unless you're talking about health.) My kids easily use adverbial forms in the right spots because I do.
NPR had a fascinating piece a couple of years ago that discussed good/well and also bad/badly. I usually say, "I'm doing well," which is why my children will say as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
If it's a matter of a socially preferred way of saying things (i.e. you sound more educated if you say 'John and I' rather than "me and John"), then I'll explain that rule when they start to write. But I'd rather have my kids say "me and John" than the hypercorrect "between John and I" because they were corrected too often as a child and so now have hang-ups.
"Between John & I" is incorrect, and when I hear people say it, I always think "stop trying so hard!" I'm probably odd that way, but it always seems as if someone wants to be "proper" but isn't quite hitting the mark.

As for the OP's question, yes, I would correct subjective/objective pronoun usage. With another's child, I would parrot, but with my own children, I would be more direct that "it's correct to say..." My children have not had any consistent problems with grammar, though I don't know if that's because we speak correctly or because I've corrected them. We would be a researcher's nightmare, I suppose.

As an aside, my mother once went through this long battle with my sister over saying "hisself." My sister was 7 or 8, so old enough not to say it. After my mom finally convinced her that it wasn't correct, we were listening to the radio, and yep, the DJ says "he shouldn't have let hisself do that." My sister was livid at my mom for making her say himself when clearly hisself was acceptable.
post #30 of 51
Not other children's, no, but yes to my own dd.

I also correct my mother's in front of dd. Before I get flamed... my mother lives with us and it DID rub off on dd. Or was rubbing off on her until I put my foot down. And it wasn't a matter of propriety - the mistakes my mom makes are things like :

We was going to the store.

Her and her brother...

Me and Sis was...

Nope, not going to let my dd grow up speaking like I did, then have to spend the effort to correct bad habits like I did. (And yes, it does matter, as I have seen people not get hired and other hired because of their speech.)
post #31 of 51
It seems like it would be unfair to correct kids unless I also corrected adults, which I don't because it seems plainly rude, so I don't correct kids. My pet peeve, by the way, is when people confuse "fewer" and "less".
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Heck my students today were lamenting that they didn't know whether the response to "How are you?" should be "I'm good" or "I'm well" because they'd been corrected too many times. (It's good, by the way, unless you're talking about health.)
I was taught that the only polite response to this question was "I'm fine, thank you. How are you?" In my mother's world based on strict polite manners, this question is only a social nicety and not an actual inquiry into your health or mood. But that's my mom for you...
post #33 of 51
I have a bit of a double standard, I suppose. For English, I never correct. Nor do I parrot back. I simply model the language and she picks it up through exposure.

But when dd is speaking Russian (her weaker language, the minority language where we live), I do sometimes correct grammar. Perhaps because she has less exposure to Russian being spoken naturally, or perhaps because of the specific properties of Russian grammar by which incorrect grammatical form is not simply nonstandard (as the English equivalent might be), but can entirely obscure the meaning that she is trying to express. In cases where incorrect grammar makes her meaning unclear, I do correct her.


Quote:
I will not correct it until my kids are old enough to think metalinguistically
This is my inclination as well. At least with English.


Quote:
My pet peeve, by the way, is when people confuse "fewer" and "less".
You know, I've noticed this more and more recently. I really think "fewer" is going to die out in the next generation or so. "Less" has become so frequent, even in "educated" speech (TV news anchors even say it now!).
post #34 of 51
my ds makes mistakes sometimes in English, he used to say "he" instead of "she" when he was younger. That being said, he's fluent in 3 languages although, as I said he makes mistakes in one language or another...
post #35 of 51
Yes, I correct children when they say something incorrectly. I'd hope others would do the same for my kids.
post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Ah, but it's a 'rule' that's only really enforced in academic contexts.
I find this argument disturbing, although the first time I heard it was from my english-major of a mom! That was sure a surprise, since she had corrected my grammar throughout my childhood.

In the business world, and in school, people need to be able to speak and write correctly. Anything else does not reflect well on their intellectual abilities!

As a side note, my dad was thrilled about texting. He said pretty soon everybody would spell phonetically like him!!
post #37 of 51
Quote:
In the business world, and in school, people need to be able to speak and write correctly. Anything else does not reflect well on their intellectual abilities!
I see it more as a question of etiquette, rather than intellectual abilities. Just as it wouldn't be good form to wear jeans to job interview, it wouldn't be good form to speak dialectally. But wearing jeans at home--just as speaking a nonstandard dialect at home, among family and friends--in no way reflects a person's intellectual or professional competence. There is a time and a place where one must adhere to various externally (and perhaps even arbitrarily) determined standards, including those of language, if one is interested in social mobility. But in other situations, it makes little difference, or for reasons of in-group solidarity, might even be preferable to speak a nonstandard dialect.

And now, for some reason, I have My Fair Lady stuck in my head: "If you spoke as she does, sir, instead of the way you do/Why, you might be selling flowers, too."
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC View Post
.... But in other situations, it makes little difference, or for reasons of in-group solidarity, might even be preferable to speak a nonstandard dialect. ...
Oh yes, I definitely agree with this. My point is that people have to know both, and how to tell the difference, in order to succeed in both scenarios.

The goal of speaking is not *merely* communication. There are also lots of non-spoken things going on, like solidarity among peers, generating trust in potential clients, etc.
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
Oh yes, I definitely agree with this. My point is that people have to know both, and how to tell the difference, in order to succeed in both scenarios.

The goal of speaking is not *merely* communication. There are also lots of non-spoken things going on, like solidarity among peers, generating trust in potential clients, etc.
But 3 year olds don't need to be able to shift register yet! I'm not saying don't teach the standard rules, it's just don't bother correcting kids when most of the problems are developmental.

Then, when you do teach the standard register, then teach it as such. "This is the way you speak in academic and business contexts." But then you should also teach kids that there are contexts where it's OK (and probably better) to speak their home dialect. It's important to teach people that there's a standard dialect and that you'll be judged harshly for not using it. Then you can teach the specifics.

But what happens in most cases is that teachers enforce seemingly random rules, confuse students, who then become uncertain about their language and claim they don't understand grammar. Or they hypercorrect and then write "between you and I"!

Young children don't need to be able to register shift or dialect shift. Really, we don't expect it until kids hit about middle school age, and we don't judge them for not being able to do it until high school.

By the time they hit late elementary or middle school, they can understand the rules, the reasons for shifting and the contexts where it's appropriate. This is a really good example of a way to teach this: Playing AAE Jeopardy in LA (note this brings up a real player window; if that doesn't work, you can read about it here.)

Sorry, I'll get off my linguistics high horse here.
post #40 of 51
I know how it feels when someone corrects me in conversation and I remember feeling the same exact way when I was a child myself; why would I want to treat someone else's child like that? It strikes me as particularly rude when the child is a guest in your home. My mother stressed both correct grammar and gracious host behavior!

In fact, I rarely correct my own kiddo. He learns very well by example and auto-corrects over time, so why mess with what works? We go out of our way to avoid people who feel the need to correct other people's children. That kind of behavior keeps us from enjoying their company. Sadly, many teachers seem to fall into this category. Save it for classroom, teach! You're off duty.
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