ERIC Number: ED339038
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-7
Reference Count: N/A
The Language and Educational Needs of College Students Who Speak African-American English.
Fitts, Elizabeth H.
Many linguists, sociologists, and educators see the nonstandard form of speech used by African-American students as a substandard, imperfect copy of Standard English (SE), marred by a number of careless and ignorant errors, rather than as something to be studied and understood in its own right. Many African-American college students continue to exhibit nonstandard English patterns after 12 years of education. Public education has refused to see African-American English (AAE) as a legitimate form and has not developed methods to teach African-American students SE. Common phonological problems of speakers of AAE involve consonant substitutions and word misarticulations such as "ax" for "ask." The Conference on College Composition and Communication (a part of the National Council of Teachers of English) adopted a resolution of "Students' right to their own language," to which many African-American students would quickly agree. There has been only a small amount of research published about the emerging phonology of AAE speaking students. The time has come for all teachers of African-American students to seek the help they need in order to prepare these students to meet the demands of society, by guiding them into a new dialect suitable for social mobility and vocational success. (Sixteen references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: African Americans
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the Alabama Association for Developmental Education (Birmingham, AL, November 7, 1991).