ELA 5: Dialect in Poetry

We're still trying to figure out how to write in different accents...is this one coming through? Hm, when we say it aloud we sound just like Sean Connery. Maybe we need to take a look at this video too.

5th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School5th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:25

If this kinda talk sounds… [Guy with a ten gallon hat]

00:27

like this kind of talk… [Irish guy]

00:28

Then you might need to get your ears checked.

00:31

So why do different people sound different?

00:33

Easy!

00:33

They just have different dialects.

00:35

A dialect is a way of speaking which differs from the standard form of the language. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

00:39

They're usually characterized by a particular accent, and different words and phrases. [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

00:43

So when we think of the British dialect, that not only covers their oh-so-pleasant [Queens guard soldier]

00:46

sounding accents…

00:47

…but also their use of words like "tube" for "subway," and "lorry" for "truck."

00:52

Dialects are also specific to a particular area, region, time, or social class. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

00:57

So when we hear that British person talking…

00:58

…we can not only tell that they're from England…

01:01

…but we can also tell that they're from present day Liverpool!

01:03

If we have a good enough ear, we might even be able to figure out their postal code.

01:07

So what does all this have to do with poetry? [Guy looking confused]

01:09

Well, you might have noticed that when it comes to poetry, a lot of poets like to be

01:13

very choosey with their words, using as few as possible. [Selective crossed out and replaced with choosy]

01:16

It's not like words are crazy expensive these days, but hey, that's their choice. [Spinning wheel of prices]

01:20

However, since different dialects give the reader lots of information about a character's [People on a game show]

01:24

background…

01:25

…a poet can write from a character's perspective, and use their dialect to communicate all that [Guy thinking of the girl from Liverpool]

01:29

information to the reader, free of charge. [Guy has dollar signs in his eyes]

01:32

So if the poet wants to write a poem set in, say, Ireland…

01:34

…they can write the poem from the perspective of an Irish character, in an Irish dialect…

01:39

…the reader will understand, "Hey! [Boy reading]

01:41

This poem's about an Irish person, and it's set in Ireland!"

01:44

And all without giving the poem a clunky title like: "The Poem About an Irish Person that [Boy looking happy]

01:47

Takes Place in Ireland."