In contemporary society the Standard variety of English is the most commonly used as it is respected and associated with a higher prestige. Its usage is also advocated by prescriptivists who believe that it is the ‘correct’ and only variety that should be used. Standard English is usually seen in formal settings, where its usage is necessary for official and public purposes. However, contextual factors play a vital role in determining the most appropriate variety to be used, which is supported by the Principle of Appropriateness. Certain contexts where a non-standard variety is necessary are in social media settings and in communities of different ethnicities, where they are undeniably required to create solidarity between speakers. Standard English is the variety that has been codified; therefore it is esteemed and accepted as the language of the educated, financially comfortable groups. Its usage is employed in formal occasions such as in an occupational group, political settings or other formal events, to provide a sense of authority and credibility. For example, a doctor.... For this question to be answered well, students needed to have a clear understanding of Standard English. By appreciating that this variety has prestige, no geographical base and is codified in dictionaries and style guides, students were able to construct relevant responses. Most students understood that by using non-Standard English it was still possible, depending on the appropriateness, to communicate effectively. A range of examples and usages was provided by students in supporting their contention, with many coming from the following varieties: • slang
• the language of teenagers and youths
• Aboriginal English
Most students recognised that by using a non-Standard variety of English a close rapport and distinct identity can be created. Conversely, some students recognised the importance of Standard English as a world language used for international...
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