A REET good course is about to start in Keighley.

Classes in Yorkshire dialect are being staged at the town's library.

Behind the venture is the Yorkshire Dialect Society, which is on a mission to make people in God’s Own Country more aware of its linguistic heritage.

The pilot course of six Friday-morning sessions, beginning on September 8, will teach participants about the history of dialect and introduce them to texts and recordings.

Classes are being organised by the society chair, Rod Dimbleby, a retired modern languages teacher and a skilled dialect speaker and storyteller.

He says: "There are many aspects to what's special about Yorkshire – the landscape, the history, the people and also the language.

"Too often children were taught in school that Yorkshire dialect words and phrases were just ‘slang’ or slovenly use of language, when in fact they may go back in linguistic terms over a thousand years to our Anglo-Norse ancestors. These words are a rich part of our heritage and we need to treasure and use them.

"During the course, people will be encouraged to speak, read and write Yorkshire dialect. The aim is to enrich their own vocabulary with often powerful and poetic words and expressions used by their own parents and grandparents, whether in farm, workplace or home environments. Dialect is a form of English that has as much relevance for our times as it did in the past, helping to define what it is to be Yorkshire.

"Teaching people to 'talk Yorkshire' may sound a crazy idea, but our 125-year-old society has a mission to make people more aware of the wonderful linguistic heritage they carry in their own memories and family histories, and how they need to remember, celebrate and above all use what's a vital part of their identity.

"We want to give people the knowledge and confidence to use this essential aspect of their heritage."

He said Keighley had been chosen to host the new venture as a salute to the late Dr Ian Dewhirst, the town's well-known local historian, who died in 2019.

Rod adds: "Ian was a Yorkshire dialect poet, historian and librarian as well as a key member of the Yorkshire Dialect Society, and thanks to him the town became a focal point for local dialect studies."

For more about the course, visit theyorkshiresociety.org/celebrating-yorkshire-by-talking-tyke, email letstalktyke@gmail.com or call Rod on 07545 308346 or 01484 717593.