Kilflynn pupils prove a ‘dab’ hand with words
TEACHING kids that words are the innovators of communication and change has proved to be a fruitful exercise for one group of pupils at St Teresa’s National School in Kilflynn, as they have just had their definition of the word ‘dab’ inserted into the Collins Dictionary.
Teacher Deirdre Laide was teaching her first-class pupils of 2016-17 how to use a dictionary and thesaurus when she asked them to look up the word ‘Dab’. This is when the children noticed that the dictionary did not have a secondary reference for the word as a dance move.
The pupils contacted Collins Dictionary and were asked to submit their secondary definition of the word. The class came together, and wrote and submitted the definition. Just a few weeks ago the school received a letter from the editor of the Harper Collins Dictionary stating that their definition was to be included on page 100 of the dictionary, and also in its online version. The new insertion reads as follows: ‘2. If you do a dab, you do a dance move where you put one arm in front of your face and the other out to the side.’
The children are absolutely delighted with their achievement, which demonstrates the importance of working together as a team to implement change. Deirdre said it is hugely significant for the children to see that their actions and opinions have an impact. She informed the pupils of the news on Monday afternoon, and it was greeted with huge excitement.
“They were thrilled and so delighted. I was able to pass around the dictionary, and they opened up the page to see for themselves the result of their own work before them. That impact at such a young age is powerful. It was lovely to see,” Deirdre said.
“It’s also so important for them to understand that the English language is always evolving. The submission of such a ‘current’ word in their modern vocabulary brings the dictionary alive for them and makes it relevant. The whole experience has been extremely exciting for them. Over the two years since they submitted their proposal, they had often asked me if I had received word back from Harper Collins, so it is lovely to see their efforts finally come to fruition.”
Teacher Deirdre Laide and Principal Ide Brosnan pictured with students at Kilflynn National School as they celebrate getting the word ‘dab’ – a dance move – into the Collins Dictionary.