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ERIC Number: ED248529
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Standard English: False Premises and False Promises.
Sledd, James
Standard English has not disappeared, but merely changed as it "must" change when the dominant class setting the standard undergoes change. If teachers are to succeed in persuading pupils to change their language, they must know and teach the standard as it is, not as it used to be, while still implanting in the minds of some students the idea of honest craftsmanship in words--of more than just the cultivated language of the powerful. Definitions of literacy presuppose motives, but while it is true that inability to use standard English can often deny all but menial employment, the mastery of a standard dialect guarantees nothing. Language intervention in the United States has always worked from the top down, in the interest of the interveners. It is these two questions, of motive and method, as well as one further question of social and educational policy, that are at the heart of the debates about the teaching of standard English. In Paulo Freire's "Education for Critical Consciousness" and "Pedagogy of the Oppressed," the key to Freire's motives is his contrast between education for domestication and education for liberation. His methods are built on the initiative of the learner. American society continues to use standard English as an instrument not of liberation but of domination. Speakers of nonstandard English will never learn the standard unless they have the opportunity to use the standard naturally, to say or write what they want to say or write to someone who wants to hear or read it. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A