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ERIC Number: ED075097
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Language of the Disadvantaged Child: A Deficient Language?
Vukelich, Carol
Recent studies suggest that the language deficiency often attributed to disadvantaged children, especially disadvantaged black children, is not a language deficit so much as a difficulty in dialect switching. The disadvantaged child's language patterns are different from the language patterns of the child from the mainstream of American society. A child's language may vary from accepted school language in vocabulary, pronunciation, or the manner in which the child puts words together in sentences. Non-standard English-speaking children are as linguistically competent in their language as standard English-speaking children are in theirs, but important differences exist between them in the uses made of their language. Teachers of young disadvantaged children should accept the language they bring to school, respond to what they say without correcting them, and focus language teaching on extending their linguistic performance. Linguistic performance can be extended by conversing with the child, asking questions that encourage lengthy answers, and using classroom materials relevant to the disadvantaged child's subculture. Disadvantaged children need to be helped to use their language to label, describe, categorize, and generalize. Three aspects of children's verbal functioning that should be improved through a language program are: attention and auditory discrimination, explicit language use, and language structure and vocabulary. (KM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A