Accept students’ different Englishes when marking their written assignments

Dr Alex Baratta, Manchester Institute of Education (MIE)

Dr Alex Baratta

Dr Alex Baratta is an esteemed applied linguist whose research delves into the intricate realms of language and identity, shedding light on crucial topics such as linguistic prejudice and linguistic rights. His scholarly pursuits have led him to explore the nuances of accent-based discrimination within British teacher training, and more recently, to examine the evolving landscape of World Englishes. Additionally, he critically examines the implications of these phenomena on academic assessment practices for university students within the United Kingdom.

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There are different varieties of written English beyond British English, including Indian English and China English, for example. However, students are often penalised if their writing includes grammatical differences separate from standard British English, the de facto standard for academic assessment. Embracing World Englishes would help to realise decolonisation linguistically.

Now is the time to...

  • educate University examiners on World Englishes;
  • establish University policies to allow World Englishes in students’ assessments, and not penalise their use;
  • campaign for wide-spread recognition of alternative Englishes, that would extend into employment.

Find out more

  • Baratta, A. He, R. Smith, P. (2024) Emerging Englishes: China English in Academic Writing
  • Look out for forthcoming book chapter 'Research Directions and Methodological Approaches in English as an International Language' in The Routledge Handbook of English as an International Language.

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Related research

Read more about research in the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE) at The University of Manchester.