Using Appropriate Language

Educational Objective: The student will express himself using vocabulary that is appropriate for the school environment.
Language Arts Standard: Listening and Speaking
Literary Platform:

• Identify Need
• Introductory Activity: Discussion about lawsuits against schools and businesses when inappropriate language was allowed by administrators.
• Define Steps and Sequences of Skill

1. Consider the types of “Registers.” See “registers” under basic skills of this web site.
2. Determine the person’s mood.
3. Be aware of your surroundings, i.e. language expectations are different in different settings.
4. Use language that would not be offensive to different races, backgrounds or religions.
Remember that students at school have the right to be in an environment in which vulgarities and profanities are not heard. (Schools have been heavily fined for not insuring this personal right on school property.)

• Role Plays not recommended/Classroom Discussion
• Applications: Businesses, i.e. most will not tolerate the use of offensive language.
• Independent Uses: Situations at school

Teachers: This lesson presents a teaching moment about language and values. Songs that are popular with middle school students usually have two versions: one is a radio version that you may hear if you listen to local stations. The second is the original CD version. This may very well have sexually explicit language. Some music is called ganster rap. This music glorifies gang activities such as drive by shootings, use of drugs, the sharing of sexual partners. Many middle school students have really no idea of what the meanings of the words are, such as "smoke an L with me." Depending on the comfort level of the teacher, these values conveyed through the music should be discussed openly. You'll find that the students know each and every word of the songs, but don't know the underlying meanings. Use the librettos of CD's to read the lyrics. There are also lyrics available online. You can reach these through a web search, although your school district may have a filter blocking your access to them.

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