My thanks to Paul Carroll for sending me the following from the Daily Telegraph:
“Pupils at Cherry Tree Primary School, in Basildon, are being taught to ditch their Essex accents during weekly lessons from a private tutor.
Teachers say they have seen a vast improvement in their pupils’ spelling and writing since the lessons were introduced – with some parents even admitting they are now corrected on their pronunciation at home by their own children.
The Essex accent has been thrown under the spotlight around the country following the success of the reality TV show The Only Way is Essex.
However, Terri Chudleigh, English literacy coordinator, who first came up with the idea, said: “This is not about being ashamed of the Essex accent. I have an Essex accent and there’s nothing wrong with it.
“It’s about helping the children to speak properly so they can improve their reading and writing and obviously have a better education.”
I’m sure it will help these children when they have to do Shakespeare and Chaucer at GCSE level. It will also help them when they’re learning to speak other languages. It will bring the group together. Well done Cherry Trees and Terri Chudleigh – so much better than parents giving their 8 year olds private elocution lessons which can sometimes lead children to be confused about status. The Essex accent is a light accent sometimes described as a “flick accent” because of its rhythm, so learning a contemporary English accent will develop the children’s ability to listen.
We have clients coming to us for a contemporary standard English accent when their children reach school age and they want to have conversations with them in a contemporary standard English accent.
Next courses in contemporary standard English
March 3rd and 4th – Intensive
March 6th – the 6 week evening course