An epidemic of the use of street-culture language broke out in this year's GCSE English exam essays, according to examiners.
A report by the Edexcel exam board said there was 'a surprising number of lapses' in standard English. It issued a reminder to teachers that they should discourage pupils from using 'street language and text style', adding: 'Most answers require formal expression [of language].'
'Many concerns were expressed by examiners about elementary errors, often appearing in the work of apparently able candidates,' the report continued.
'At this level it is almost unforgivable for a candidate to use a lower case for the first person pronoun " and yet in occasional answers this mistake was repeated throughout essays.' It added that the use of street and text language 'appeared with surprisingly regularity in the work of candidates who clearly aspired to at least a C grade'.
'Most answers require formal expression but " even when an informal register or style is appropriate " candidates should remain aware of the examination context and, in particular, should not use street language and text style,' it said.
There is rising concern about pupils' writing skills, especially among boys. …