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ERIC Number: EJ1152392
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0192-401X
Swearing: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
Finn, Eileen
ORTESOL Journal, v34 p17-26 2017
This article explores the cases for and against the inclusion of curriculum about swearing (which includes taboo words) as a part of an Adult ESL course. The function and prevalence of swearing are discussed, including the level of exposure students face. Taboo language makes up 4% to 13% of typical daily language use (Fägersten, 2012; Winters & Duck, 2001, p. 60). Exposure to these words without context is also discussed, as it could potentially put students into embarrassing and sometimes dangerous situations (Hansen, 2016; Jay & Janschewitz, 2008; Jay, 2009; Vingerhoets, Bylsma & DeVlam, 2013). It also explores the proper and improper ways of swearing, and how swearing can actually be beneficial for both professional and interpersonal relationships. Moreover, swearing is becoming more prevalent and is no longer specific to a particular group (Hansen, 2016; Vingerhoets et al., 2013); thus, it is a bigger part of daily language. The article expresses that there are positive reasons as to why teachers might want to include swearing as a part of ESL courses for educational purposes. Suggestions for future research are offered.
Oregon Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. PO Box 15148, Portland, OR 97293. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A