English language is one of the most widespread languages in the world. In the contemporary world, English is a language of business, trade, international relations; it is also a language of documentation and a tool for everyday communication of millions of people. Doubtlessly, the international language status and the increase of English usage led to the situation when some groups of people communicate daily not with Standard English, but applying dialects or slangs. Due to the common use of slang, the question of its recognition as a correct form of writing becomes increasingly topical in the academic setting. Students, who want to operate informal English of the daily communication in studying process, are especially interested in the issue. Many students claim that slang should be allowed in the classes for creation of realistic atmosphere, because slang is part of their routine. Therefore, the discussion about approval of slang in the class environment resulted in disputes about advantages and disadvantages of its usage The wish of students to use slang in academic essays does not correspond to the reality and current educational needs. The major opposing fact is that all respectable employees require proficiency in writing and speaking skills from candidates. Another fact is that many people around the world understand Standard English, while they might not be acquainted with slang, which differs regionally. Thus, the progressive desire of students to use slang is a disguised laziness and an attempt to minimize the range of studying materials and decrease the academic language. In all respect, an educational establishment is not for entertainment, but for preparing the students to meet the expectations of potential employees. Also, graduation of highly-qualified professionals is an evidence of university’s competence and reputation. Although many scientists and linguists say that usage of slang is just a change in English caused by adaptation of modern society, the use of slang in academic essays should not be allowed for the serious reasons discussed in the paper.
Slang is a communicative tool shared among a limited number of people and is not available in any literary sources for reference or studying. Hence, slang does not fulfill the prior function of a language, as it cannot be a unified tool for communication. Based on the argument, spreading of not-sustainable communicative tool may create serious complications in the studying process of the youth. A number of higher education institutions enroll international students and expatriate professors, which lead to different slangs. It is not plausible for each group of students to use their slang in academic writing, as it will cause misunderstanding and barriers. Moreover, the professors will not be able to check and evaluate the papers. Without a doubt, professor team cannot acquire knowledge of all slangs, as comprehensive sources on slang do not exist. Furthermore, employees are not acquainted with youth’s slang, so upon employment they will ask a worker not to use dialects, especially in documentation. That leads to the problem of wasting of time. “If the recipient of the message has to spend ten minutes trying to translate it, those precious minutes are being wasted. And isn't the whole point to 'save' time?”. The point is that if slang complicates rather than facilitates to saving of time, than it is totally useless, and even harmful in the working process.
At the moment, the students will realize the mistake of using slang in essays previously. In fact, once the university is finished, students enter the competitive job market, and without basic writing and speaking skills they are in disadvantage. An outcome is the statistics of a high rate of graduate unemployment, declining grammar knowledge, and absence of any universal communicative tool. It will be the result of a desire to use slang in academic writing and escaping basic grammar rules.
Another argument is that slang is not suitable for specific spheres of social activity.Each student of the university prepares to be a professional in a definite area through education. Basically, every sphere requires various writing skills, including negotiations, contracts signing, and application submissions. The need for proficiency in Standard English appears, as it is used in professional writing. The standardized concise language applies to organizations because of its universality. Linguists, who support a prescriptive way of researching language, agree with the idea. As it is also mentioned: “Prescriptivists follow the tradition of the classical grammars of Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, which aimed to preserve earlier forms of those languages so that readers in subsequent generations could understand sacred texts and historical documents”. The explanation of saving constant words and grammar constructers is crucial for documentation. It not only helps to understand the historical processes, but also facilitates to creating of a stable language system. For students it is rather important, as stable linguistic atmosphere encourages them to be fluent in writing skills with opportunity to check the proper rules through the reliable sources.
Finally, the usage of slang is a sign of poor education and lack of knowledge. The contemporary business supports the point of view that highly educated people are inclined to use Standard English. Their manner of speech, pronunciation, and word combinations are supposed to be professional and sophisticated. One more reason to learn Standard English instead of slang is that “it can be valuable in some contexts in order to guarantee clarity and bring a level of order and elegance into the language”. For students, it means that the status in society is defined by different criteria, including a good education. If a student wants to create a positive image and good reputation from the beginning of the career, he should use intelligent speech. The ability of speak professionally is a result of continuous work and personal attempts. Therefore, education requires Standard English learning.
Despite the listed arguments, which clearly explain significant disadvantages of slang usage in official spheres and activities, there are some objectively strong supporting points to introduce it. Considering some forms of dialects (for example, AAV or Hong Kong English) as an evidence of poor knowledge is not objective, but discriminating. As it was already mentioned, educational institutions can be a place with many international students. They use the language of the host country, but adapt it to their culture and traditions. “Ragging on dialects like AAV or Hong Kong English is a racist thing to do”. The author implies the specifics of English language development in the countries. As the territories of the states were previously under colonization or dependent on the English-speaking country, they had the opportunity neither for creation of the unique language nor for learning pure Standard English. Subsequently, a sentence “Anita been workin” does not show an African American student’s bad grasp of grammar. On the contrary, the example showcases the flexibility of AAV with the tenses. The sentence develops a thought some dialectical grammar forms are not an obligatory evidence of the lack of knowledge, but rather an outcome of other language traditions. The key point of the argument is not to make foreign students feel uncomfortable because of their specific dialect of English.
Despite the fact that there is a piece of truth in the pro-slang argument, the fact that proper English is beneficial remains. An issue with “ragging on dialect as a form of racism” is exaggerated, as society does not aim to humiliate another culture through dismissing the value of slang. On the contrary, it has right for existence and development, but should not interfere with formation and use of Standard English. The African –American students may use their dialects, but it should not motivate the university officials to introduce changes in the studying process. The rules of English language ought to be applicable to all learners. At the same time, a student has a choice either to learn and use English or the slang in daily life. However, when it comes to professional setting, it is obligatory to know Standard English in order to avoid misunderstandings and uncomfortable situations.
In conclusion, it is an undeniable fact is that opposition between Standard English and slang is increasing. The reason is a social desire to avoid learning complicated grammar rules and constructions. The debate led to considering changing the status of slang in educational institutions. Despite some possible advantages of the innovation, disadvantages are sufficient to disapprove the idea. Therefore, the authorities should act in the interests of the society without discriminating certain groups. From the essay, it is evident that the usage of slang on official level in universities may lead to serious problems with further attempts to find job. Also, the popularity of slang affects the rules and language standards, which creates a high risk of loss of clear and available for everyone language tools. Thus, slang should remain as a comfortable way of communication in the informal atmosphere, while Standard English provides students with necessary theoretic basis and the opportunity of clear expression of thoughts.