Pupils are using too many ‘fancy’ words in their essays without knowing what they mean, expert warns

  • Pupils are peppering essays with words such as ‘thus’ ‘furthermore’ and ‘utilise’ 
  • Campaigners believe scholars are trying to impress the examiners  with long words
  •  Barbara Bleiman, of the English and Media Centre advises the use of clarity

Pupils are increasingly showing off elaborate language in essays without knowing what it means, an expert claims.

Teachers are drilling youngsters to widen their vocabulary, encouraging them to use words such as ‘thus’, ‘furthermore’ and ‘utilise’ as they think this will impress examiners.

Barbara Bleiman of the English and Media Centre said pupils were trying to use ‘elaborate language’ in essays in a bid to show off 

But Barbara Bleiman, of the English and Media Centre, a charity that supports teachers, says this has given the message that ‘peppering your writing with barely understood Latinate terms is better than saying what you actually think with directness and clarity.’

Writing in the Times Educational Supplement, she added: ‘In my work, I read a lot of student writing and have begun to see a developing trend of overuse of terminology, academese and elaborate vocabulary just for the sake of it.’


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