Short courses


Teaching Non-Standard English Grammar (Online Course)

  • 9:30am to 1pm
  • 3.5 hours


On this online course, you'll learn about non-standard varieties of English and their role in education and society.

Many teachers and parents believe that it's the job of school to teach pupils ‘proper’ English. This has led to many schools enforcing bans on ‘slang’ or dialect words and phrases. Similarly, pupils and teachers may be encouraged to lose their accent.

This approach has a number of downsides. Chiefly, that it does not represent sociolinguistic reality, rests on misinformed prejudices and can also lead to poor outcomes for pupils.

Instead, this course seeks to show teachers how they and their pupils can engage critically with the historical, social and grammatical diversity of the English language. 

The course is designed to help anyone working in education who:

  • is curious about regional and social varieties of English 
  • wants to engage students with the language patterning that surrounds them  
  • encourages student’s self-expression and grammatical understanding of language 

This course is taught by UCL experts and is brought to you by the team that runs Englicious, a free online learning and teaching resource for English grammar.

What is Englicious?

Englicious is a free online English grammar resource for primary and secondary schools. It includes lesson plans, exercises and projects that you can carry out with your pupils. 

It's based on extensive research into contemporary written and spoken English grammar and includes fun lesson plans that look at traditional English, as well as contemporary sources like Dizzee Rascal.

Englicious is structured around the 2014 UK National Curriculum.

Course content

This course advocates for an inclusive, critical and linguistically-informed approach designed to help students find their identity, express themselves and engage with English. 

The course will cover:

  • how language hierarchies function in education and society 
  • current approaches to policing pupil’s use of language 
  • exploration of concepts such as British Standard English, dialect, accent etc. 
  • alternative approaches that acknowledge and celebrate varieties of English

Who this course is for

This course is aimed at teachers and staff working in the English educational system.

It will be of use to primary, secondary and further education teachers. Trainee teachers, NQTs and anyone else interested in topics of language and education are welcome to join.

Structure, teaching and certification

This course is an online interactive seminar, taught via Microsoft Teams. You'll receive an email with the invitation and instructions a week before the course starts.

You instructor will guide you through the core principles and techniques. There will be plenty of opportunities for trying activities, questions and discussions. 

A certificate of attendance will be issued on request for those who attend the whole course.

Learning outcomes

This course will help you:

  • gain a greater understanding of sociolinguistic patterning in the UK
  • explore the role of standard and non-standard language in education 
  • experiment with ways of using non-standard English grammars in the classroom

Costs and concessions

The full cost of this course is £49.

A reduced rate is available for:

  • UCL alumni: £39
  • students and trainee teachers: £25

You may be asked to provide proof of your status.

Run this course as an inset day

If you’re a school, college or university, and have a large numbers of students we would be happy to discuss special rates. To run this course as an inset day, please contact the Survey of English Usage team by email on ucleseu@ucl.ac.uk to discuss.

    Course team

    Luke Pearce

    Luke Pearce

    Luke is a Teaching Fellow in English Language/Linguistics at UCL and works on the Englicious project. He has also worked for over 10 years as an English teacher. He's taught English as a foreign language overseas and English for academic purposes courses at university. He's also taught GCSE English Language and Functional Skills in secondary schools and further education providers. He has a CELTA, PGCE and Master's in Education and Language from the University of Sheffield. For his dissertation, he conducted a critical discourse analysis into the role of regional varieties of English in the GCSE English Language specification.

    Learner reviews

    Feedback from related courses ‘English Grammar for Teachers’ and ‘Teaching English Grammar in Context’:

    “I got loads of really lovely teaching ideas and activities as well as learning how to prioritise children’s learning of grammar.”

    “This course went beyond my expectations. It was incredibly engaging and insightful, so many working examples to utilise and be excited to try in the classroom.” 

    “Very practical. Great examples. Pitched at the right level. Excellent presentation.” 

    Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 15:59