- This resource contains materials which can be used directly in the classroom as well as other learning environments – to what extent are you already using Scots language in your school?
- The materials included in this resource were written by practitioners, in collaboration with academics from the University of Glasgow. Is there someone from outside your school you could ask to come in and speak to learners about Scots language? There have been many rewarding partnership created in the past between schools and "Scots Ambassadors".
Explore this learning and assessment resource
Our ideas of correct spelling were shaped, broadly speaking, during the eighteenth-century era of linguistic prescriptivism. Having a standard way of writing down every single word is certainly very helpful and efficient; it is difficult to imagine that, in the medieval period, there were about 400 different ways of spelling the word through in various locations across the British Isles. The reason why medieval scribes could come up with so many ways of spelling a single word was that they were often trying to represent their own speech and developed various alternative spelling conventions to capture the sounds. Variation, rather than standardisation, was the norm.
Today, we see spelling creativity in online communication. Much like medieval scribes, we may want to represent our accent, or we may want to abbreviate, as in the use of l8r for later. Since the prescriptive approach is very much entrenched in our attitudes to language and correctness, some people don’t see spelling creativity as a legitimate use of linguistic resources. We can challenge these attitudes by drawing parallels with medieval scribes who produced important documents and literary works without standardised spelling, and whose diverse spellings give us a window to what the people of the past may have sounded like.