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ERIC Number: ED358438
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Non-Standard English and Reading.
Winters, Clyde A.
When children (particularly African Americans) have a different orthography, phonemic system, and deep structure from Standard American English (SAE) speakers, they may have difficulty grasping the correct SAE phonemes represented by the symbols and reading in general. Language acquisition is natural learning centered around the interaction of parent and child, and child and community. Research indicates that among disadvantaged urban populations, no matter the race, many students have poor reading comprehension skills due to failure of parents providing "corrective feedback." Ebonics is a dialect made up of an English vocabulary and an African structure/grammar. Researchers disagree over the effects on reading comprehension of the syntactical differences between SAE and"Ebonics" (ebony phonics, also called Vernacular Black English). Ebonic speakers use an African morphology and syntax (analogous to the grammars of the Niger-Kordofanian family of languages) with an English vocabulary. The morphology and phonology of Ebonics causes many African American children to have reading problems. Ebonics is not just a dialect of English, it is a "different" speech analogous to African languages in structure and some vocabulary. Perhaps African American children could benefit from learning English as a Second Language. (Contains 18 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A