ERIC Number: ED024928
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Bonnie and Clyde Tactics in English Teaching.
Shuy, Roger W.
The author describes three current approaches to the problems of nonstandard English and examines the motivations behind their recommendations. The traditional negative correction to standard he calls "eradication," based on ethnocentric prescription. "Biloquialism" offers the student the option of adjusting phonology, grammar, and lexicon between home dialect and standard. There are dangers in this too, if students and teachers look down on the nonstandard dialect, or consider the standard cynically as merely a means for obtaining jobs or manipulating for power, rather than as a broadened repertoire for social and intellectual communication and a means to understand the system and dynamics of language use. The third approach is to give standard speakers a better understanding of nonstandard speech, both its forms and its validity. This is sketched rather as training to tolerate diverse language forms than as gaining a useful level of proficiency. The author proposes that English teachers should ask themselves: (1) Is what I am teaching the most important thing for my students? (2) Is my teaching unbigoted? (3) Am I giving my students the most useful alternatives for their self-fulfillment? (4) Am I using the most dynamic and timely principles and data for understanding the system of language? (5) Is my language teaching developing healthy attitudes toward human rights? (MK)
Descriptors: Black Dialects, Dialect Studies, Diglossia, English, Language Standardization, Nonstandard Dialects, Racial Attitudes, Regional Dialects, Social Attitudes, Social Bias, Social Dialects, Social Influences, Social Mobility, Sociocultural Patterns, Socioeconomic Influences, Sociolinguistics, Standard Spoken Usage, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC.
Note: Speech delivered for the National Council of Teachers of English, November 1968.