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ERIC Number: ED318231
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Feb
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Incorporating Dialect Study into the Language Arts Class. ERIC Digest.
Wolfram, Walt
Most educational programs focusing on dialect differences are constructed to move speakers toward the standard variety of English. However, dialect study as language study in its own right introduces dialects as resources for learning about language and culture, with potential for language arts education. Systematic introduction of dialect diversity in the language arts curriculum can be used to: (1) challenge popular myths about dialects; (2) offer a new perspective on the nature of language; and (3) develop critical thinking skills. Studying dialects does not threaten the sovereignty of Standard English, but instead offers an understanding of the reasons for learning this variety. Although the themes in a curriculum unit on dialects vary depending on level, topics should be included concerning the naturalness of American English dialects, dialect patterning and rule government, dialect levels, and dialect consequences. Learning about dialects is accomplished most efficiently through active learning supported by a variety of audio-visual aids, several of which are available commercially. A sample exercise about dialect patterning in Southern vowel pronunciation illustrates another kind of learning activity; the range of possible class projects is broad and varied. Appropriate levels for dialect study range from mid-elementary to upper secondary education. (MSE)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.