ERIC Number: ED030107
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Feb-8
Reference Count: 0
Language Difference and the Ethno-Centric Researcher.
Goodman, Kenneth S.
The author lists steps for constructing a research study guaranteeing "statistically significant results when comparing two populations which differ linguistically." Many of these steps are direct quotations from typical research reports--choose a control group as much like yourself as possible; assume your own dialect is standard; encode all directions, questions, and answers in your own dialect; judge responses as correct only if they are properly stated in your dialect; use experiences drawn from the control (your own) group; follow a rule of thumb: if something is important to you, it is important; judge all data as deviation from the control group: you are the norm, all else is deficiency. This facetious model for research is based on a "total fiction: that language can be judged on a single norm and that language difference and language deficiency are synonymous." Every child achieves a basic mastery of his dialect well before beginning school and can express anything important to him to the people in his speech community. He speaks his dialect grammatically: if he didn't, he couldn't be understood since grammar is the system of language and all language is systematic. Because "all people are ethno-centric," we build our stereotypes out of differences between ourselves and others. We need objective humility for effective research, not "elitist" views. (MM)
Descriptors: Contrastive Linguistics, Cultural Differences, Cultural Influences, Culture Conflict, Culture Fair Tests, Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Research, Ethnocentrism, Evaluation Criteria, Language Ability, Nonstandard Dialects, Research Methodology, Social Discrimination, Sociolinguistics, Subcultures, TENL
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at American Educational Research Association, Los Angeles, February 8, 1969.