Approach in Teaching Standard English to Native Speakers. English is used by many people all around the world. Different people use it for different purposes in different settings. The English in the modern times is not considered as a unified and single language because of many factors, one of which is the diverse society that has contributed to the development of the English language. Linguist had developed a number of specialized terms to label the different ways people nowadays use English. The first one is due to the regional variations of the people. People in different regions like the US, Canada, London, Ireland, Australia, India or Asia have different ways in using the English language. These regional variations in different areas differ very much in speaking the English language either on its pronunciation, vocabulary or grammar. (Byrd, 1999)
The second is the existing sub-regions within this area. The US has many sub-regions existing; also in England there are considerably many groupings to be considered. The third factor is that all English are different, but all of them are considered and share the common core, the English language. The fourth factor entails that in addition to the regional variations of English, English has sub-groups of speakers which are alike either in education or social status.(Byrd, 1999) There are features of pronunciation and grammar that are used to link people together belonging to a social group and as part of their social identity as members of the group.
The fifth factors entails that English can be categorized into subsets belonging to a certain type of communication, say the English language used by engineers, mathematicians, or a group of college students.  The sixth factor attributes the variation on how English is written or spoken. This particular factor is quite complex but the general idea is that there are differences attributed from example, a written research paper compare to a research presentation done in public. This area of topic is essential for English teachers of ESL/EFL for them to be able to sort which type of English to teach, and how they can effectively teach the type of English to use in a communication setting appropriate with the situation and conditions. Finally, linguist often times discuss the varieties of English based on “style”. Style is often divided into loose sub-groups which label things such as “formal”, “neutral”, and “informal”. (Byrd, 1999)
In the discussion of Standard English, the topic that greatly affects this discussion concerns with the use of terms and differentiation between standard and non-standard English. Both of these terms must be defined clearly before discussing the right approach in teaching Standard English to native English speaking students. Biber et al. (1988) suggest that “vernacular” should be used to define the Standard English rather than the tern “non-standard” because it somehow implies a negative connotation to it.
For professional teachers of English, they should be very careful with labeling and defining the sub-categories on English. English teachers are faced with issues such as first, with regards to the term “standard” which is a label in accordance with the people who are dominating a population and are likely to label the term to something that implies to having a prescription to use something that is labeled as “standard”.
The term standard does not imply it being a “better” or “best” form of English, it just is a term governed by the rational process of standardization. Second, terms which describe the variety of English with “un-” or in this case, “uneducated” should be eliminated because of the negative connotations it brings. Third, there exists the realization that a system is present in contrasting between standard and no-standard. This system gives little help in specifying the many sub groups of English speaking people based on the vocabulary, grammar or pronunciation. Fourth, it must be understood that any individual must speak more than one version of English because in a diverse society, the skill is needed and can be used appropriately in everyday communication settings.
In today’s academic curriculum, specifically in grammar, the debate is not really about grammar, but rather language. Standard American English should be taught to students for them to grasp the essential style in communicating the English language. Katz and Stevens (1997) proposes that there should be a curriculum which is based on the model of foreign-language immersion programs that aims to teach students with Standard English to teach them the value and understanding of English whether it may be in writing, speaking, reading or understanding.
The authors attributed their proposal based on the observation that the traditional curricula in most schools through the traditional method has not been effective in reaching the student’s reading, writing, speaking, listening and grammar skills. Hatwell (1985) study suggests that even with the study on formal grammar rules; the knowledge acquired by students is not translated into practice. Also explained by Brosnahan and Neuieb (1995) mentions that one of the primary reasons why students are unable to transfer their knowledge into action is because teachers are not teaching the right method.
The authors suggest that the best way is to create an environment in which students are comfortable in studying the complexities of grammar. After their study, Brosnahan and Neulied conclude that teachers are likely to effectively teach the medium if they themselves like the topic and this in turn motivates their students to learn. This is called the enthusiastic instruction approach in grammar. Unfortunately, the study does not reflect the improvement on the student’s general facility with Standard English.
According to Weaver (1979), the isolated grammar instruction could even hinder the language development, this situation because of the idea that the situation entails student’s isolation among their peers. Rather than practicing the formal ideas in the isolation instruction program, students are deprived of the time to either read, write and converse among their peers which could significantly help them in understanding Standard English.
Krashen (1985) concluded in his study that the most efficient way to acquire a second language is through immersion. Standard English, in other areas in of the world are considered as their second language because basically, they do not use the language in everyday settings and situations. The immersion approach will allow students to learn Standard English in a situation and environment where they can interact with their peers, and use the language in the direct communication process of the program.
Only after which student learns the faculty of the second language do they learn about the language itself, and this in the end will refine their usage and style. Immersion program will succeed as a method for teaching Standard English to native English speakers because it initiates the process by which children acquires their first language. This is accredited to the fact that children learn language holistically, first, through the immersion at home, and this leads to their understanding and communication ideas about their surroundings and with other people.
Through immersion, children are stimulated continuously through their first language. To affectively teach this approach, it should encompass areas in speaking, writing, listening, and reading activities. Also, different activities should constantly be referring to this method for it to be effectively to be proven in a normal classroom setting. The school administrators should also take their role in being committed with this kind of approach; they should be the one to facilitate a cross-curricular immersion environment that explicitly uses the Standard English to emphasize its subjects.
Teachers of the immersion curriculum should also work in teams to allow the continuum process of learning for both students and teachers. This will entail a positive direction that will keep students motivated and will provide an environment where cooperation is included in every class. It must be noted though that the Immersion approach will not benefit all students, only those students in an environment where Standard American English is used poses as the best environment to which the approach can be adapted.
The traditional instruction of English is seen as ineffective and the need for a language curriculum that adapts to the developing needs of the students to become linguistically competitive is realized. Current grammar instruction and traditional methods had failed to deliver the appropriate language and communicating skills to the students. This is the problem that the Immersion program wishes to solve. Standard English, considered as a second language, enables students to effectively communicate with other people that comprise the diverse society we live in today. This will help them become competent and confident later on in their lives. Discreet lessons concerning prescriptive grammar is not evidently shown in the student’s language composition or their oral communicating skill, thus, the Immersion program aims to bring literacy, composition and communication together for students to master the essential concepts of Standard American English.
BIBER, D., ET AL. (1988) Variation Across Speech and Writing, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
BROSNAHAN, I. A. N., J. (1995) Teaching Grammar Affectively: Learning to Like Grammar  Porthsmouth, N.Y, Boyton/Cook.
BYRD, P. (1999) Standard & Non-Standard English :The Dangers of Ill-defined Concepts.
HARTWELL, P. (1985) Grammar, Grammars, and the Teaching of Grammar. College English, 47, 105-127.
KRASHEN, S. (1985) Inquiries and Insights: Second Language Teaching, immersion, and Bilingual Education, Hayward, CA, Almany Press.
STEVENS, K. A. (1997) Standard English Immersion for Native Speakers   PIPA.
WEAVER, C. (1979) Grammar for Teachers, Urbana, IL, NCTE.

Approach in Teaching Standard English to Native Speakers