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ERIC Number: EJ1018276
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0155-0640
Educational Failure or Success: Aboriginal Children's Non-Standard English Utterances
Dixon, Sally
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, v36 n3 p302-315 2013
Within the Australian education system, Aboriginal students' use of non-standard English features is often viewed simplistically as evidence of non-attainment of literacy and oral-English milestones. One reason for this is the widespread use of assessment tools which fail to differentiate between native-English speakers and students who are learning English as a second language. In these assessments, non-standard English features are framed as "mistakes" and low scores taken as evidence of "poor" performance. This paper will contrast a mistake-oriented analysis with one that incorporates knowledge of the students' first language. It will clearly show that when consideration is given to the first language, a more nuanced picture of English proficiency emerges: one that is attuned to the specific second language learning pathway and thus far better placed to inform both assessment and classroom instruction.
Applied Linguistics Association of Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A