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ERIC Number: ED461877
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"My Goldfish Name Is Scaley" Is What We Say at Home: Code-Switching--A Potent Tool for Reducing the Achievement Gap in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms.
Wheeler, Rebecca S.; Swords, Rachel
Correctionist models of error, problem, and omission presume that Standard English (SE) is the sole language variety of America. America's classrooms, however, are neither culturally nor linguistically monolithic. Instead, they are diverse, and current teaching metaphors do not reflect the linguistic and cultural realities of the classrooms. This paper offers a path through which the linguistic and cultural diversity of American classrooms may be affirmed, all the while assuring that children learn to command Standard English, a key tool required for full participation in the broader society. The paper tracks the story of Rachel's (the second author) journey as a third grade language arts teacher, showing how she moved from a correctionist to a contrastivist model of the language arts classroom. In doing so, the paper first presents evidence that the achievement gap Rachel witnesses in her own classroom and school is seen not only around her state of Virginia, but throughout the nation, across decades. It states that the field of applied linguistics underlies Rachel's work in the classroom--basic linguistic insight into the nature of language varieties showed her that the language of the home is not lacking in pattern but differently patterned. In the paper, the journey is charted in two voices, that of a university professor of English education (the first author) and that of Rachel, an elementary teacher who implements an inclusive language arts in her linguistically diverse, inner city classroom. The paper suggests that educators must revisit how they respond when students write and speak in spoken language patterns. (Contains 16 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia