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ERIC Number: ED024053
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Jan
Pages: 75
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Study of Non-Standard English.
Labov, William
American education has always considered the non-standard or sub-standard form of speech used by children to be an imperfect copy of standard English. The defects of this approach have now become a matter of urgent concern in the face of the tremendous educational problems of the urban ghettos. This paper reverses the usual focus and looks directly at non-standard English--not as an isolated object in itself, but as an integral part of the larger sociolinguistic structure of the English language. To do this, the author first presents some linguistic considerations on the nature of language itself, and then a number of sociolinguistic principles which have emerged in the research of the past ten years. The relation of non-standard dialects to education is reviewed, bearing in mind that the fundamental role of the school is to teach the reading and writing of standard English. Finally, the author turns to the question of what research teachers and educators themselves can do in the classroom--the kind of immediate and applied research which will help them make the best use of teaching materials. The author hopes that this paper will put the teacher directly into touch with the students' language, help him to observe that language more directly and accurately, and enable him to adjust his own teaching to the actual problems that he sees. A 36-item bibliography covering all areas of the paper is included. (DO)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC. ERIC Clearinghouse for Languages and Linguistics.