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ERIC Number: ED217104
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Figurative Language of Disadvantaged Blacks as Related to Poverty, Music, Poetry, Language and Reading.
Allen, Walter R.
The unjustified assumption that black children have limited verbal or articulation skills stems from the fact that blacks use figurative, nonliteral, and nonstandard language in the classroom. The language that most disadvantaged blacks learn at home and bring to the classroom is a restricted form born out of poverty and limited exposure to good language models. This kind of figurative language is reflected in black folk songs, spirituals, and poetry which express emotions, experiences, consciousness of the world, and religious fervor. The language in these literary forms is often mispronounced, misspelled, and ungrammatical, and must be translated to become meaningful to those who are used to standard English. Disadvantaged black children are often judged to be underdeveloped with respect to language. In fact, they have a fully developed language system which is different from standard, middle class English. Teachers' failure to recognize black language patterns as different rather than deficient leads to negative teacher attitudes, students' reading difficulties, and school failure. To improve disadvantaged black students' reading skills, it is important to adjust materials to suit the learner and hire competent reading teachers. (MJL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A