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ERIC Number: EJ818250
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
"I'm Very Not About the Law Part": Nonnative Speakers of English and the Miranda Warnings
Pavlenko, Aneta
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v42 n1 p1-30 Mar 2008
This article presents a case study of a police interrogation of a nonnative speaker (NNS) of English. I show that the high linguistic and conceptual complexity of police cautions, such as the Miranda warnings, complicates understanding of these texts even by NNSs of English with a high level of interactional competence. I argue that the U.S. criminal justice system should accommodate NNSs of English at all proficiency levels by adopting a bilingual standard, that is, by offering the Miranda warnings in English and in a standardized translation into the speaker's native language. I also argue that common legal terms, concepts, and texts need to find a place in the adult ESL curriculum. (Contains 6 footnotes.)
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. 700 South Washington Street Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 888-547-3369; Tel: 703-836-0774; Fax: 703-836-7864; Fax: 703-836-6447; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A