Many children are in the middle of eleven plus courses. Verbal reasoning plays a large part in many eleven plus examinations. Today children can work through verbal reasoning exercises through books, papers, DVDs, CDs and the internet. There is not one standard form of verbal reasoning paper.
Many years ago printing was introduced to the world by Gutenberg – who heralded a new revolution and did away with people having to rely on hand written manuscripts. Today anyone with aspirations can set themselves up as a verbal reasoning author.
Children with good verbal reasoning scores can pass the eleven plus and so reach the portals of the local grammar school. Once in the grammar school the children hope to be educated. Yet must all children who do not pass be considered at ill educated? This would be a very sorry tale.
We need to look back to the Education Action of 1870. Elementary school teachers were hired who spoke in an `educated’ manner. Some children became ashamed of the speech of their parents. As compulsory education spread through England more and more children began to use key words, speech and language. Educated English, however, is not the same as Standard English. Educated English is adopted universally throughout England. It is thus possible for children to be able to cope with a variety of eleven plus papers – even if they come from varied backgrounds.
Standard English is not the stuff of Eleven Plus papers. The term `Standard English’ seems to imply that all speak in a uniform manner. Standard English has distinctive features – but not unusual ones. In the end children sit educated English papers and not papers that are standard in certain areas or regions.
As children from many parts of the country read their verbal reasoning questions aloud, within the context of many dialects, accents and speech patterns, we know that the eleven plus is looking for children who have the potential to be well educated.