brilliant supercurricular lecture

Our very own Mrs Derby delivers our final lecture of the year!

In a grand finale to our year of supercurricular community lectures that have spanned the fields of medical research, critical theory, physics, post-modern literature, and genetics, last night we were treated to the last one of this academic year when Mrs Derby delivered an epic, inspired, and inspiring presentation on Surveillance, Compliance, Coercion, Control: How Linguistic Conservatism is Stifling Creativity.

It was fantastic to see so many in attendance - students from Year 7 through to Year 12, staff, parents and carers, and even some Year 10s who visited school especially for the event, despite being off site on work experience this week!

The lecture was inspired by Mrs Derby's postgraduate research, and was a thought-provoking, fascinating, and interactive insight into the ramifications of the ideology of Standard English and language use, and of governmental and societal linguistic ideology, and its implications for education, society, the media, and inequality.

Mrs Derby's engaging delivery prompted us to actively contemplate a number of questions, including:

What is `Good English` and what does it mean and signify?

Discourse-pragmatic features, their use in spoken and in written language, the reasons behind their misperception, and the linkage with class and race prejudice, and power inequality

Reflections on language teaching in schools

How students feel about how their language is perceived, and the ramifications of some teaching methods for this

Linguistic discrimination, political rhetoric, and the policing of grammar

Mrs Derby built towards the conclusion that left us with much to ponder and to consider still further regarding how we deploy language on a daily basis, the embedded nature of valued judgements within this, and ultimately that: "The language we use is integral to our identity and who we are".

The two bouts of applause from the audience were testimony to how enriching and enjoyable the experience had been for all; and as lecture programme coordinator Miss Hammond concluded, Mrs Derby has set us up nicely for the next academic year and our brand new series of lectures that will commence in September, when we hope to see still more joining us for these fantastic supercurricular opportunities, that progress and develop academic, professional, intellectual, and personal pathways.

With huge thanks to Mrs Derby, to Miss Hammond, and to everyone who supported the event.