ERIC Number: ED204782
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul-8
Language Variation and Public School Education vis a vis Jelly Beans and Designer Genes.
Pietras, Thomas P.
Language variation, be it foreign or dialect, receives little tolerance and understanding by the general public. Thus, there are two major challenges for the decade of the 1980s in language arts instruction. The first is for teachers to become thoroughly informed about the nature of language and its role in our society. A knowledge of language variation provides teachers with useful information on which to base instructional decisions. For example, a teacher knowledgeable about black vernacular English would be able to recognize the difference between a dialect shift and a decoding error as a child reads. Another aspect of the influence of language on learning is the way students pronounce their words and the manner in which their teachers may respond attitudinally. Moreover, if teachers were knowledgeable about language, they could incorporate this information into the curriculum because it is important for students to know and understand the nature and functions of language in the various facets of everyday communication. The second challenge is for publishers to produce textbooks that take into account language variation in a manner that recognizes American society as one that ideally respects diversity but realistically expects unity. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Summer Reading Conference of the Suburban Council of the International Reading Association (8th, Evanston, IL, July 8, 1981).