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ERIC Number: EJ1008558
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0010-096X
African American Language, Rhetoric, and Students' Writing: New Directions for SRTOL
Perryman-Clark, Staci M.
College Composition and Communication, v64 n3 p469-495 Feb 2013
For the past few decades, composition researchers have devoted critical attention to studying the ways that African American students employ Africanized linguistic and rhetorical patterns successfully in expository writing situations. More recently, research has focused on the use of African-based rhetorical patterns, since the use of African American students' Ebonics-based syntactical features has declined over the past decades. As a teacher, scholar, and writing program administrator, the author is interested in the extent to which African American students can employ African American linguistic phonological and syntactical features in different expository writing situations, since as the 1974 CCCC Students' Right to Their Own Language (SRTOL) suggests, African American students--and all other students--have the right to write in the "dialects of their nurture" or "whatever" linguist patterns that students bring with them into the classroom. Thus, it would seem that SRTOL would include the right for students to use their own languages in formal expository writing situations and to have successes in a writing class by doing so. This essay extends SRTOL as a framework for helping college writing students understand the ways that they can make purposeful and strategic choices about language practices in the composition classroom. To forward this argument, the author offers a case study of how three African American students enrolled in a first-year writing course employ Ebonics-based phonological and syntactical patterns across writing assignments, including those that also require students to compose multigenre essays. By showing the different writing situations where African American students make purposeful and strategic language choices, the author offers a classroom example of what SRTOL might look like in an academic writing context that engages students' writing in different academic rhetorical situations. Thus, the author offers a research report of students' understanding and practice of their own languages when a supportive Afrocentric first-year writing curriculum is provided. The author concludes the essay by offering examples of how students come to see learning about Ebonics as relevant to their literate lives. (Contains 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A