ERIC Number: ED216378
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Dialectal Interference and Attitudes in Composition.
One way to alleviate the hostile feelings of students whose dialects or idiolects interfere with their writing of Edited American English is to spend class time studying the differences between written and spoken English and examining the reasons such differences exist. The concept of a "grapholect," a national written language used by speakers of various dialects, may be useful in explaining to students that certain features of their dialects need to be changed in writing. Many students try to write exactly as they speak, an indication that they have failed to move away from a context-dependent style in both speaking and writing, a style that leads to lack of clarity and inability to deal with the abstract. Classroom emphasis on defining the audience of a composition helps alleviate this difficulty. Another problem resulting from a confusion of written and spoken language appears when students realize there are differences between written and spoken language but do not understand what those differences are. For example, when handbooks use labels like "informal" to refer to forms acceptable in speech, students get the impression that speech is always informal and writing always formal. Instructors can help students recognize that levels of formality exist in both speech and writing by examining illustrative passages of spoken and written English in classes. An example would be to play tape recordings of casual conversation, then show samples of written work by the same people. (RL)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (33rd, San Francisco, CA, March 18-20, 1982).