Sunday, March 25, 2012

Life imitates Monty Python

Geoff Pullum, one of my professors from when I was in grad school in linguistics, posted a blog entry over at Language Log talking about how some high schools in the UK seem to be having their students who are native speakers of a non-English language take the proficiency exam for their native language in order to pad the high schools' average scores for GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) exam scores.

I won't take a position here on the ethics of the practice, but I was reminded of this sketch from Monty Python's flying circus. Note, however, that no-one is claiming that the high schools are having native French speakers (for example) take classes where they endure constructing sentences on the pattern of la plume de ma tante ... (modify appropriately for other languages).

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