1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Accent Discrimination??

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by wakeyjo, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I find it very odd the parent is so affronted by the accent of someone who doesn't even teach their child. Either the parent really does have too little to do, or this is a place where an expectation has been bred amongst some parents that all staff sound as though they've been in elocution lessons since birth.
  2. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    I have come across two situations similar to OPs and the teacher concerned had to leave as so many children were supposedly unable to understand the teacher. I can't go into details but in the end the HT took the side of the parents/ children and went down capability route but then the teacher left. That day I lost a good friend and felt deeply offended by the way she was treated it left a sour taste in my mouth. I continue to support this teacher to this very day.
    Antipodean teachers however at my school are always very well received and for a parent to complain about this accen is unheard. My school has quite a lot of pomp and wealthy parents despite the fact it's a comp state school. I think this is nonsense created out of nothing and TBH I am surprised the HT is seriously responding to such a complaint in the first place. I would seek union advice.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It's a private school so I suppose that's possible if it has a reputation as a "posh" school!
  4. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    OP made themselves understood at their interview.
    They were employed.
    Shouldn’t we be promoting diversity and encouraging children to celebrate different cultures (including languages and accents)

    Do you not agree with diversity and tolerance?
  5. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Just incase you are getting any odd messages @Rott Weiler I most certainly do not want ro ignore you or anyone else on here...dodgy mobile.
  6. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Exactly an important aspect of any language exam worth it's salt is to test the fact that said language student CAN understand various accents.
    lizziescat likes this.
  7. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I had a broad Northern accent when I started teaching. I am sorry to say that I have lost much of it now, about from my hard vowels. It does come back when I go back home or when I talk to my Northern friends on the phone.I started teaching down south-I soon had the children all singing with a Northern accent, as they learnt the songs by me singing first, and them copying what I sang! I think accents are brilliant and as Lizzie said, it is all part of being diverse. Having said that , I really struggle with Glaswegian accents. I have a Glaswegian friend and I find it hard to understand her on the phone, especially as she talks so quickly.
    I love the Welsh accent. It's lovely to listen to.
    Curae and agathamorse like this.
  8. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I struggle with a strong Glaswegian accent too as well as some others .
    That is my problem.
    I just listen, concentrate, and after a (fairly short) while my ‘ear’ becomes attuned.
    This is to my benefit-it expands my understanding of others and broadens my horizons.
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    Just seen this. I would suggest greeting the dad no more. How very odd to have a complaint from.a parent you only greet at the gate...

    Perhaps the dad prefers a formal stiff upper lip approach and isn't used to such friendly welcomes. Ignore him.and earn more praise.
    Curae, jlishman2158 and FrankWolley like this.
  10. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    as I said, this does NOT refer to the OP, who clearly CAN make herself clearly understood, but to the principle of teachers who can't be clearly understood by their students
  11. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    it isn't the students problem if they can't understand their teacher! And glaswegian accents can be hard, so they shouldn't be used when teaching. I have glaswegian relatives, and much as I misunderstand when they are talking to each other, when they are talking to me they can make themselves clear to me. If they couldn't, they would not be suitable teachers. ( nd actually, one of them is a teacher, but speaks differently in that situation)
  12. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    The OP isn’t the class teacher, but is simply greeting the father of a student at the gate, according to what she wrote. If she isn’t the class teacher, any regular contact with the OP must surely be less formal and less frequent than that between teacher and pupil.
  13. Milotic

    Milotic New commenter

    Just thought I’d weigh in with a related story...
    Was told in a placement school in London by the person in charge of teacher training to ‘be aware that I had an accent.’
    Being the newb that I was, I did restrain myself from saying ‘ooh, I was never aware of that. Thanks for the info.’ No other information/ instruction from her when I pressed, I just had to be aware.
    Never mind that:
    A. I was a languages teacher
    B. The school had a huge variety of accents from staff and students alike

    People can be funny about accents. I would agree with everyone else: listen to any ‘advice’ if it’s given and move on. A variety of accents can only be beneficial !

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    This is more about the parent than you!

    Next time you greet the dad, do it with a beaming smile and speak to him in that slow, careful manner that English speakers sometimes employ when speaking to foreigners?
  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I cannot believe I have just read this.

    People cannot simple use or not use their natural way of speaking.
  16. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    .........and what is a Glaswegian accent, a SE England accent, or a SW accent. I'm Scottish did all of my training in Glasgow schools and they were all different. I've lived in the SW and they are all different there as well.
    I think it may not be the accent but the words used which may be unfamiliar or even considered unsuitable. So many may not like HI but prefer Hello. However I do think the parents have to much time on their hands if this is all they are worried about.I also think the HT could be a bit more diplomatic in her approach.
  17. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Next time you greet the father,disarm him with a big friendly smile and then tell him in a cheerful tone to go f&*k himself.
    Chances are he won't understand you.
    Win win I say.
    Piranha likes this.
  18. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Or if you have heard him speak, try to do his accent. Doesn't need to be accurate.
  19. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    We have an amazng receptionist she speaks standard Queens English. She is black she has beautifully braided hair and is very well groomed makes us teachers look like slobs.Woukd she want to be a parent greeter? You must be joking she wouldn't put up with such trashy behaviour from a parent. Yes this is Racism and it is THE PARENT that needs educating NOT employee.
  20. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Wasn't there something on here once about an Ofsted inspector criticising a teacher for her accent? I know that I've had students that have complained about teachers with string accents before. Two were ESOL and definitely struggled.

Share This Page