Discussion focuses on suggestions for using the natural occurrence of multiple dialects in both school and community as a means to teach about the nature of language and dialects in society, increase language awareness, and learn standard English as a second dialect.
Analysis (for the frequency and distribution of Black English Vernacular [BEV]) of nearly 1800 essays written by 17-year-old African-American students suggests that BEV has converged with edited American/Standard English and that students suffered few penalties for BEV use.
A study used Standard English and Black English (BE) scoring procedures with the Arizona Articulation Proficiency Scale to compare responses of Detroit low-income African-American preschoolers who spoke BE. Results indicate that this test requires no BE scoring adjustment for northern BE speakers.
One of the dilemmas inherent in teaching Standard American English (SAE) involves non-judgmental acceptance of nonstandard dialects. One teacher used G.B. Shaw's ``Pygmalion" to demonstrate the usefulness of learning SAE.
In a writing instruction program for adult speakers of nonstandard English, teachers adapted such foreign language instructional techniques as translation and extensive oral practice, while avoiding presentation of formal grammatical terms.
Because dialects reflect peoples' cultures, teachers and the community must respect the value of diverse dialects. The teaching strategies, classroom activities, and evaluation methods provided may help motivate students to acquire Standard English.
Viewing the teaching of Standard English as a Second Dialect from the viewpoint of ``additive bidialectism" rather than ``remediation," the article rejects an assimilationist viewpoint, proposing instead the adoption of a pluralist position vis-a-vis dialects.
In contrast to linguists, who usually concern themselves with cognitive sufficiency, English teachers---concerned with behavioral sufficiency--- encounter language within a usage context and bear a sense of responsibility to students for teaching both spoken and written English. Teachers must also identify students' dialects before valid discussion of students' language rights can occur.
A review of ethnographic research focuses on issues related to regional or dialectal language use, particularly of African American Vernacular English [AAVE] in special education classrooms. The paper reports on research underway with speech/language pathologists to develop regionally normed AAVE profiles to aid accurate assessment.
The study contrasts Acadian (Cajun) English spoken in Louisiana with the local standard English and describes the linguistic features of the dialect in nontechnical language, so as to inform elementary and secondary school teachers and others in contact with speakers of that population.
The teaching strategies described can work with students at varying levels, especially in conjunction with pre-testing and ongoing evaluation of student progress. Emphasizing vocabulary building and communication skills, the main strategy draws on second language teaching approaches. Materials include a pre-test, unit tests, and post-test, and are suitable for Grades 11-12 or college classes.
Exploring the relationship between bidialectism and literacy, discussion focuses on possible problems in acquisition of literacy skills arising from mismatches in the spoken language of dialectically divergent groups. In a perspective on language variation offered for teaching practitioners, the approach acknowledges systematic differences between dialects in sound-symbol relationships and grammar---differences that result in communication miscues.
Designed for group and individual use, these curriculum materials provide general and specific suggestions for activities that use folk sons and spirituals, jokes, folk sermons, and literary styles to teach about effective use of dialects and language variants, and about rhetoric and composition.
The questions raised and addressed focus on ways in which dialect differences affect 1) language tests and testing, 2) the view that standard English forms are ``correct" norms to be upheld, 3) bias/fairness in language test items and non-language-related testing, and 4) educators' knowledge about testing.
Most educational programs focusing on dialect differences aim to move speakers toward the standard variety of English. However, dialect study, as language study in its own right, introduces dialects as resources for learning about language and culture, thereby serving to: 1) challenge popular myths about dialects; 2) offer new perspectives on the nature of language; and 3) encourage the use of critical thinking skills.