Curriculum Vital

'Listen Mr Oxford Don', by John Agard 
Lesson plan

Me not no Oxford don
me a simple immigrant
From Clapham Common

Understanding the difference between standard and non-standard English is one of the main aims of the new KS3 English programme of study. John Agard’s poem ‘Listen Mr Oxford Don’ allows students to explore the grammatical elements of our language while questioning the meaning of ‘standard English.’


  • to analyse the difference between standard and non-standard English
  • to rewrite non-standard English lines from the poem in standard English
  • to categorise lines by tense (present simple, past continuous, etc.)
  • to debate the role of standard English in the modern world

Grammar topics: standard English, non-standard English, phonetic, spelling, present simple, past simple, present continuous, pronoun, affirmative, negative

Topics: immigration, speech, identity, the Queen, Oxford, elitism

Skills: reading, writing, speaking, debating

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Further reading