ERIC Number: EJ1022213
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Students' "Write" to Their Own Language: Teaching the African American Verbal Tradition as a Rhetorically Effective Writing Skill
Williams, Bonnie J.
Equity & Excellence in Education, v46 n3 spec iss p411-429 2013
The 1974 Conference on College Composition and Communication's (CCCC) resolution declaring "Students' Right to Their Own Language" (SRTOL) defends the rights of students and all other writers to use different varieties of English (see Committee on CCCC Language Statement, 1974). In addition, the 1988 CCCC adoption of the National Language Policy (NLP), which was a response to the English-Only Movement, boldly asserts that English-Only is educationally unsound. However progressive these policies may be, there still remains a request from teachers on how to identify and develop effective pedagogies that advance language diversity in the classroom. The present research study responds to this problem by introducing a social justice approach to writing instruction that recognizes African and African American contributions to standardized American written communication structures. Using culturally relevant pedagogy and culturally sustaining pedagogy as theoretical frames, I explore the effects of a "comparative approach" to African American Language and Literacy instruction, which makes clear that African American Verbal Tradition (AVT) may be incorporated into expected conventions for academic writing. This case study takes place in two first-year writing courses at a major Midwestern university in which students are introduced to AVT. AVT is a broad linguistic tradition; therefore I have selected five features of AVT to investigate: (1) repetition, (2) signifyin[g] and indirection, (3) call response, (4) narrativizing, and (5) sounding. My project uses social justice as a framework that I developed through my own teaching practices, which highlights the linguistic abilities AAL speakers bring with them to the classroom and how these complex and intellectual writing skills can be expanded.
Descriptors: Black Dialects, Teaching Methods, Language Usage, Language Variation, Language Planning, Public Policy, English Only Movement, Social Justice, Writing Instruction, Culturally Relevant Education, African American Students, Case Studies, Metalinguistics, Writing Skills, Skill Development, Student Attitudes, Writing Strategies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A