ERIC Number: ED086034
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973-May-11
Reference Count: 0
The Case for the Standard Language.
Eskey, David E.
This paper discusses the controversy over nonstandard dialects as opposed to the standard language in the teaching of English and makes a case for maintaining a commitment to Standard English. The primary function of standard English is to provide a means by which members of English-speaking society can communicate with each other. It is essentially a complex set of rules, much like the rules of baseball or chess and abandoning the rules or stretching them too far can result in a total breakdown of the game. That the rules of standard English are an arbitrary set of intrinsically no better than those of nonstandard dialects in no way detracts from their immeasurable value as the agreed-upon rules. To some extent, the drive for social justice depends on certain kinds of education, and teaching the facts about languages and dialects may help to dispel one kind of prejudice. The school, however, must also continue to teach students to read and write the standard language, not as the language of the rich or powerful, but as the language of educated English speakers. (Author/HW)
Descriptors: Dialects, Educational Discrimination, Educational Strategies, English, English Curriculum, English Education, English Instruction, Language Instruction, Language Standardization, Language Styles, Language Usage, Nonstandard Dialects, North American English, Oral English, Regional Dialects, Social Bias, Social Dialects, Standard Spoken Usage
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (7th, San Juan, P.R., May 11, 1973)