ERIC Number: ED211983
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Standard and Nonstandard Dialects: Principles for Language and Reading Instruction.
Barnitz, John G.
Focusing on the social variation of language, this paper provides an overview of basic sociolinguistic concepts deemed to be necessary information for teachers involved in the language and literacy development of children who speak nonstandard dialects. The first section of the paper discusses three things that teachers must understand about dialects: (1) all varieties of language are rule-governed systems--even nonstandard dialects have rules and patterns that are systematic; (2) all dialects have the capacity for the functional expression of meaning; and (3) language variation extends beyond the characteristics of dialects. Some general principles and implications for instruction are outlined in the remainder of the paper within the categories of language assessment, standard English in the language arts, and reading performance. The principles and implications that are listed include the notions that cultural and linguistic differences will influence performance on tests, that children should be provided with opportunities to learn a standard form of language, and that the focus of reading instruction for all children (including children with different dialects) should emphasize meaningful comprehension. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association (26th, New Orleans, LA, April 27-May 1, 1981).