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Talking Proper: A Discussion of Accent Prejudice in the British Workplace

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11 November 2016
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

University Place, The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL

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ESRC Festival of Social Science logoDo you like your accent? What if others don’t? Who decides what ‘proper’ language is, anyway?

This event, hosted by Dr Alex Baratta of the Manchester Institute of Education, discussed how our accent contributes to our personal identity and sense of who we are, yet how we might choose to modify our accent in various social situations. Even worse, what if we are told to do so by those in authority? How does a modified accent affect our identity and sense of who we are; do we accept the practice or do we feel like linguistic sell-outs?

The event sought to start a dialogue on what the linguistic reality is, or should be, in the context of teacher training. This is important in that individuals who are qualified to teach should not be made to feel as if their accent is a liability, yet to establish a ‘standard accent’ might go against the national push for equality and diversity.

Find out more about Alex’s research at