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ERIC Number: ED163397
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Dialect and Learning to Read.
Schwartz, Judy I.
Dialects have features of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation that distinguish them from other varieties of a language; they exist in all languages and occur when members of one group communicate more among themselves than they do with speakers of another group. Black English vernacular (BEV) is a fully formed linguistic system with its own rules of syntax and pronunciation and should not be considered an unworthy approximation of standard English. Although linguists have viewed use of BEV as a deficiency, it has never been demonstrated that a dialect has a significant effect on school achievement except when school personnel's attitudes toward dialects have contributed to poor performance. Of the four alternatives used in teaching reading to dialect speakers (teaching the child to speak standard dialect and then beginning reading instruction in standard dialect, using instructional materials written in the nonstandard dialect, allowing the child to translate materials written in the nonstandard dialect into the indigenous dialect, or using the language experience approach), empirical data do not specifically support the use of any one over the others. Emotional and social factors appear to be more significant than linguistic factors in affecting the school performance of nonstandard dialect speakers. (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association World Congress on Reading (7th, Hamburg, West Germany, August 1-3, 1978)