ERIC Number: EJ1052259
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Speaking up for African American English: Equity and Inclusion in Early Childhood Settings
Beneke, Margaret; Cheatham, Gregory A.
Early Childhood Education Journal, v43 n2 p127-134 Mar 2015
A large percentage of young children entering preschool are English speakers who speak a language variety that often differs from the English dialect expected by educators within early childhood programs. While African American English (AAE) is one of the most widely recognized English dialects in the United States, the use of AAE in schools and programs has been viewed negatively. In this article, we assert that to meet the needs of young children who speak AAE, educators can take an equity and inclusion perspective to consider practices related to dialect. To this end, we discuss (a) meanings of equity and inclusion, (b) AAE dialect characteristics and importance, (c) educator perceptions of AAE, and (d) recommendations to provide equitable and inclusive early childhood services to young children who speak AAE. We suggest that early childhood educators reflect on linguistic identity and biases, investigate linguistic diversity, explicitly teach standard English, and partner with families to learn about diversity and dialect. By focusing on both equity and inclusion, early childhood educators can foster an accepting environment and positive outcomes for all children, including those who speak AAE.
Descriptors: Black Dialects, Preschool Children, Inclusion, Equal Education, Preschool Education, Preschool Teachers, Teacher Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A