Postponed: English Language public lecture: "We don't need no education"

Do we need to remove non-standard grammar from our speech? Join a free public lecture to find out.


This event has been postponed until further notice


Professor Emma Moore from the University of Sheffield presents an insightful public lecture that explores the use of nonstandard grammar, and when people use it and why. 

It will also consider how nonstandard grammar is perceived in our National Curriculum and the extent to which current educational policy aligns with what we know about the functions of nonstandard grammar in everyday talk.

What is nonstandard grammar?

Nonstandard grammar (including expressions like we don’t need no education to mean ‘we don’t need any education’) is often characterised as uneducated speech that is used ‘in error’.

But there are many reasons why we use nonstandard grammar. Principle amongst these reasons are its ability to communicate a wide range of social meanings.

For instance, hearing a nonstandard construction in our speech might allow someone to infer something about where we are from, but it might also communicate a wide range of attributes relating to our point of view or preferences.

So, whilst we are often exposed to the view that there are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways to use language, in everyday interaction, a wide cross-section of us regularly use nonstandard grammar effectively and efficiently to convey complex ideas and emotions.