ERIC Number: ED238060
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
A Position Paper on Teaching the Acquisition of the Mainstream Dialect in Kindergarten and Elementary School.
Hochel, Sandra S.
The goal of instruction in mainstream dialect (MD) acquisition should be to expand students' oral communication skills to include skills needed for academic and economic success, thereby making alternate dialect speakers bidialectic. This implies recognizing students' home dialect as a valid linguistic system and a part of their identity. Although seldom used in classrooms, an "indirect" approach to MD instruction is advocated by most language arts experts. In this method no explicit instruction in dialect differences is given but students are exposed to models of the dominant dialect. A more direct and consequently more effective approach consists of both formal instruction in dialect differences and exercises in using the MD. This approach (1) is less confusing to alternate dialect speakers, (2) provides more opportunities to use the MD, (3) increases student motivation, and (4) helps to discourage use of the "correction" method. Such instructon should begin in preschool and early elementary grades, since the sooner students begin to speak the MD, the more comfortable they will be with it and the more likely they will be able to code switch. The early instruction is also more effective because young children still enjoy playing with language and sounds and are more willing to risk sounding strange when they use new language patterns. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (69th, Washington, DC, November 10-13, 1983).