Why You Should Teach the Slang & Formal English Difference to Your Child

Living in a diverse community and interacting with people of different colours on a regular basis gives rise to an opportunity to learn different languages. As levels of understanding and chemistry between people rise, it gives birth to a new form of communication that becomes evolved with time.

Slang is one such by-product where it is created by people and their frequent use in everyday situations. According to a study by Jacob Eisenstein of Georgia Institute of Technology, over 30 million tweets from US locations were analysed to reveal the findings that big African American populations tend to lead the innovation in linguistics.

This clearly shows how language is consistently evolving with time, and slang originates commonly in densely populated urban settlements.

In light of this information, let us look at some of the reasons why you should teach your child the difference between slang and proper English.

12 Reasons To Teach Your Child The Difference Between Slang & Proper English

Here is the list of top 12 reasons why every parent should communicate the difference between slang and proper English to their kids at an early age.

1. Appropriate Scenarios

You need to inform your kids about social settings and how to be aware of their surroundings. That being said, you also need to inform them there is an appropriate time and space for everything. Though this may prove to be difficult, it is important that they learn to differentiate at least between formal and informal settings.

An example of time and events where you can use slang include playing sports, visiting a bar with friends, a social party, spending time with close family members, or on picnics. These are highly relaxed situations that concern people that we know very well.

2. Building Vocabulary

While many experts would warn you to stay away from slang, and they are right since much of it can simply become outdated. However, it might be a good idea to teach your kids whatever slang they come across.

First and foremost, knowing what a word or phrase means will inform them when another person is being disrespectful to them or to their beliefs. Secondly, if you know slang, then you also know what not to say in front of people, which at times is more important than actually knowing what to say.

However, vocabulary is an absolute must when it comes to formal communication as it can impact learning and work-life in later parts of life.

3. Choice & Selection of Words

We all have heard of the phrase, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” While the statement does hold true for a lot of scenarios in practical life situations, it is also essential to understand that our choice of words can be equally impactful. The selection of words plays a vital role in writing as they can help create the right effect on your readers and audiences.

There are words that can better describe objects and subjects as well as their qualities. For example, excited, agitated, and flustered all mean stirred emotionally. However, excited has a positive connotation, while agitated means being upset and flustered means out of control.

4. Developing an Enjoyable Learning Experience

The acquisition of both slang language and proper English can be made into an enjoyable learning experience. Language development is essential for your kid’s personal and professional growth, as effective communication skills are required throughout one’s life.

However, it is essential to realise that children profoundly retain the information acquired in an environment that pertains to fun, excitement, and amusing interactions. Regardless of whether you teach them about proper English or inform them about slang terms, you still need to make the overall act of learning engaging for them. This will help them to acquire information and knowledge that you want to impart at a much quicker pace.

5. Ethics, Morals, & Values

A lot of times, language teaches us about morals, values, and ethics in our daily lives. For example, greeting someone in a respectful manner, we use honorary titles like Sir, Madam, Lord, etc. shows that we are taught to admire nobility and those who are older than us.

Likewise, the use of courtesy is also implied in the way we speak and write. These can include words like kindly, please, and phrases like thank you, pardon me, yes sir, no mam, may I?, I am sorry etc. Slangs can also be used to implore such subjects in a more informal manner.

For example, sweetie is a popular slang word used to show endearment for someone, whereas the main squeeze commonly refers to someone’s lover and can also be vulgar in its description and use.

6. Group Settings

There are numerous occasions where you have to speak in front of a group of people. This is where the difference between using slang and using formal language can play a crucial role in impacting the audience.

If your child understands the difference well between the two, they can make better judgements and calls without dampening their impression in the presence of tons of people around them.

This can include examples like giving a speech in the assembly hall during their school years or meeting with a board of clients during their professional tenure at a reputable establishment. While mostly slang is considered inappropriate, masterful spokespersons have used them cleverly to break the ice and the tension in the air to make the mood of the room and people feel lighter.

7. Formal Language

When it comes to dealing with situations and settings that involve a certain degree of seriousness like, for example, a workplace or a classroom, formal language is best advised as a means of communication. You need to inform your child to use polite language in front of guests, the elderly, and prominent figures like their teachers or relatives.

Formal language allows us to deliver a well-mannered image of ourselves and also paves the way for necessary diplomacy in certain risky and threatening situations. Furthermore, it can also help us to be more persuasive at times and implement it to create valuable connections with others. People often use formal language when giving out presentations or when speaking to a crowd of people.

8. Harbouring Intentions

It is important to understand that the words we speak are often able to convey our intentions as well. This means that whether we use slang or formal English for that matter, both can, at times, imply good and harmful intentions. We need to teach our children the importance of reflecting and thinking before we write or say anything.

They should always feel accountable for the type of speech they use in their daily lives as this can help them to comprehend what messages their listeners receive. Our words are powerful tools that can deeply arouse and motivate others to commit actions, and they can also be used to hurt someone irrevocably.

9. Informal Language

While formal language can feel a bit steely at times, informal language is more casual and spontaneous in nature. We need to teach children when it is appropriate to use informal language.

Personal emails, text messaging, or when dealing with family matters are prime examples where one can use informal language. Informal language often implements a more personal tone that delivers intimacy and familiarity with others in its tone and voice.

It can be used to make people feel more comfortable and less rigid in certain situations. While everyone likes to be treated with respect and courtesy which formal language does imply, however the feeling of togetherness which the use of informal language creates can bring forth feelings of love and adoration which are equally admirable.

10. Racism & Prejudice

We are currently living in a world where concerns and alarms about racial inclinations and prejudice have reached international awareness through recent news and media. Though it is quite unfortunate that many minorities face such dire issues to this day and age, however, remedy for these current problems can originate from our homes.

Parents and teachers can collectively inform young people and students about racism and social discrimination and what it implies. They should also be taught about inappropriate vocabulary and racist terms, which they must not include in their daily use throughout their lives in both professional and personal circles.

11. Jokes Apart

Humour nowadays has become an essential part of our communication. It allows us to relieve stress, look at the lighter side of things, and allows strangers to use small talk in cohesion to become more familiar with each other. While both slang and formal language can both utilise humour in their own respective styles and mediums, a quick note should be taken on making fun of others.

This is why good humour is hard to come by, and people should only commit to use it in their correspondence or speech when they are 100% sure that the listener or the member of the audience would not feel hurt by their remarks. Jokes are only good as long as both the parties laugh, and no one is subjected to disrespect or humiliation.

12. Language Development

Children come to comprehend and understand language during early childhood, and this plays an active role in developing their linguistic skills. While we all start our lives without knowing words or the ability to distinguish between them, as time passes by, our observations of people around us teach us a lot.

This is to say that for your child’s language development, elders and their way of talking play a huge role. Children are most observant of the actions committed by their parents, siblings, childhood friends, and relatives.

Nowadays, they can even acquire vocabulary from YouTube videos or when watching a TV show. So consider precautions when using strong or abusive language in front of them. They learn a lot of slang from the ones closest to them.


The way we speak and write defines our ideologies and showcases what beliefs we have about others and the rest of the world. Our actions and speech define who we are as people and show what morals and values were imparted to us.

As parents and teachers, we should make consistent and continuous efforts to inform our children and students about using the correct and appropriate form of language in both formal and informal settings.

We can impart knowledge about the correct and incorrect forms of spoken and written language to our kids and students by using various methods. This can include storytelling and tales that include moral lessons for the good of all humanity. We should also teach our younger ones about vulgarity present in the use of inappropriate language and why they should avoid it at all costs.

Author Bio:
Claudia Jeffrey currently works as a Content Strategist at Crowd Writer, a platform for buying the best assignment writing service UK from professionals at affordable prices. During her free time, she visits local pawn shops and actively searches for collectable items. She shares her opinions through her blogs.