Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

April 2017

End Date

April 2017

Department

English

Abstract

Long-standing myths about language have often affected teacher instruction in the classroom. Particularly in minority communities, teachers have faced difficulties educating students whose dialect varies greatly from Standard American English (SAE). In linguistics, dialect is defined as a variety of language associated with a particular social group. Many of the difficulties faced in education have arisen from misconceptions that certain dialects of English, and by extension, certain social groups, are inferior to others. All languages have one dialect that is considered the ‘standard’ or the most prestigious, so that factor cannot be changed. However, the way in which non-standard dialects are approached in educational settings can be improved. If teachers are to effectively instruct students in minority communities, being aware of dialectical differences is imperative. Because language and identity are so closely linked, a student’s dialect is a significant component of their culture. Therefore, creating a classroom environment that not only acknowledges, but accepts variations of English, will produce a more inclusive learning atmosphere. Due to the variety of benefits for both teachers and students, non-standard language should be incorporated into the classroom.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Leslie Layne

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Apr 5th, 10:45 AM Apr 5th, 11:00 AM

Embracing Diversity in Dialect: Incorporating Informal Language into the Classroom

Long-standing myths about language have often affected teacher instruction in the classroom. Particularly in minority communities, teachers have faced difficulties educating students whose dialect varies greatly from Standard American English (SAE). In linguistics, dialect is defined as a variety of language associated with a particular social group. Many of the difficulties faced in education have arisen from misconceptions that certain dialects of English, and by extension, certain social groups, are inferior to others. All languages have one dialect that is considered the ‘standard’ or the most prestigious, so that factor cannot be changed. However, the way in which non-standard dialects are approached in educational settings can be improved. If teachers are to effectively instruct students in minority communities, being aware of dialectical differences is imperative. Because language and identity are so closely linked, a student’s dialect is a significant component of their culture. Therefore, creating a classroom environment that not only acknowledges, but accepts variations of English, will produce a more inclusive learning atmosphere. Due to the variety of benefits for both teachers and students, non-standard language should be incorporated into the classroom.