ERIC Number: ED172553
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Should We Teach Urban Black Students Standard English? Lektos: Interdisciplinary Working Papers in Language Sciences, Vol. 3, No. 1.
Riley, Roberta D.
The research and theoretical rationale for differences between (urban) black and white students, particularly in achievement in language development, are discussed along with implications for the classroom. Theories about language acquisition and capacity that have developed to account for the poor school performance of urban black students include the deficit theory, elaborated and restricted language code theory, the genetic inferiority theory, and the difference theory. Linguistic assumptions about the nature of language, the assumption that deprived children are nonverbal, assumptions about the environment of the disadvantaged child, and problems with testing and textbooks are discussed. The following questions are addressed: (1) whether to teach standard English before or after initial reading instruction, (2) whether initial reading instruction for nonstandard speakers is dialect reading of traditional materials, and (3) whether reading materials should be revised so that grammatical forms unfamiliar to the nonstandard speaker are eliminated. The most radical proposal involves the use of black dialect readers. Proponents of dialect readers assert that there is enough difference between standard and nonstandard dialects to require the nonstandard dialect readers. Opposing viewpoints are presented. Drills that have been proposed to differentiate standard and nonstandard forms are presented. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Failure, Black Dialects, Black Students, Disadvantaged, Failure, Language Acquisition, Language Research, Linguistic Theory, Low Achievement, Nonstandard Dialects, North American English, Reading Instruction, Research Reviews (Publications), Standard Spoken Usage, Textbook Selection, Urban Youth, White Students
University of Louisville, Interdisciplinary Program in Linguistics, Room 214 Humanities, Louisville, Kentucky 40208
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Louisville Univ., KY. Interdisciplinary Program in Linguistics.