Dialects in Schools and Communities / Edition 2

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This book describes dialect differences in American English and their impact on education and everyday life. It explores some of the major issues that confront educational practitioners and suggests what practitioners can do to recognize students' language abilities, support their language development, and expand their knowledge about dialects. Topics addressed include: popular concerns about the nature of language variation; characteristic structures of different dialects; various interactive patterns characteristic of social groups; the school impacts of dialect differences in speaking, writing, and reading, including questions about teaching Standard English; and, the value of dialect education in schools to enable students to understand dialects as natural and normal language phenomena.

Changes in the Second Edition: In this edition the authors reconsider and expand their discussion of many of the issues addressed in the first edition and in some of their earlier works, taking into account especially the research on dialects and publications for audiences beyond linguistics that have appeared since the first edition. This edition is offered as an updated report on the state of language variation and education in the United States.

Dialects in Schools and Communities is rooted in questions that have arisen in workshops, surveys, classes, discussion groups, and conversations with practitioners and teacher educators. It is thus intended to address important needs in a range of educational and related service fields. As an overview of current empirical research, it synthesizes current understandings and provides key references-in this sense it is a kind of translation andinterpretation in which the authors' goal is to bring together the practical concerns of educators and the vantage point of sociolinguistics. No background in linguistics or sociolinguistics is assumed on the part of the reader. This volume is intended for teacher interns, and practicing teachers in elementary and secondary schools; early childhood specialists; specialists in reading and writing; speech/language pathologists; special education teachers; and students in various language specialties.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Because teaching and learning occur through language, teachers need a broad understanding of language variation and how it affects curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Adger, Wolfram, and Christian have made knowledge about language variation accessible and provide tools for teachers to use in gaining a deeper understanding of the languages and cultures of their own students. Teachers who care about educational equity and diversity will find the book important to their work."—David Bloome, The Ohio State University

"There are still widespread myths and negative attitudes about dialect variations in student language. This second edition of an already classic text can help all students become confidently bi-dialectal but only if all teachers, coaches, and professional developers across the curriculum take its conceptual messages to heart, and take its beautifully-designed exercises into all classrooms and workshops."—Courtney Cazden, Harvard University

"This is a terrific book for both pre-service and in-service teacher education. The authors clearly illustrate dialect differences at all linguistic levels, from pronunciation to grammar to vocabulary, and they also analyze the linguistic and cultural implications of these differences for teaching and assessing speaking, reading, and writing in academic English. They deserve kudos for making dialect differences so interesting and accessible!"—Marcia Farr, The Ohio State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805843156
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/1/2007
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Language Variation in America     1
Issues and Definitions     1
Popular Meanings of Dialect     2
Accent and Dialect     3
Levels of Language Differences     4
Sources of Dialect Difference: Region and Social Class     5
Language Standards     7
Language, Logic, and Language Complexity     11
Standard English     13
Dialects and Understanding     15
Deficit Versus Difference     17
Cultural Differences     20
Multiple Dialects in Schools     21
Language Attitudes in Society     22
Dialect Change in the United States     27
Further Study     28
Exploring Dialects     30
Dialect Study     30
Considering Social Factors     31
Examining Particular Patterns     33
Variation in Linguistic Systems     36
Pronunciation Differences     37
Regional Dialects     38
Social Dialects     39
Grammar Differences     43
Suffixes     43
Other Differences in the Verb System     46
Other Grammatical Differences     48
Illustrative Dialect Samples     49
Appalachian Ghost Story     49
Wild Life     50
Notes on Transcripts     52
Vocabulary Differences     55
Vocabulary Matters Across Dialects     56
African American English     58
The Origins of African American English     59
The Changing State of African American English     60
Dialect or Language?     61
Further Study     62
Social Interaction     63
Conversational Politeness     64
Making Meaning     66
Cooperation in Communicating     67
The Role of Context in Making Meaning     57
Figurative Language in Context     69
Language Rituals     70
Conversational Misadventures     71
Cultural Styles in the Classroom     73
Understanding Students' Language Behavior     77
Researching Classroom Interaction     78
Data Collection     78
Data Analysis     79
Living With Language Behavior Differences     81
Classroom Rules     81
Further Study     84
Interpreting Language Difference      86
Perceptions of Language Standards     87
Are Students' Language Skills Declining?     89
Diversity and Test Scores     89
Differences and Disorders     90
Language at Home and at School     92
Early Literacy     93
Dialect Differences and Curriculum Content     94
Further Study     97
Oral Language Instruction     98
Standard English and Social Reality     98
Group Reference and Dialect Learning     99
Positions on Dialects and Dialect Education     100
Policy Development     103
Curriculum Development     104
Methods of Teaching Spoken Standard English     108
Promoting Language Development     110
Further Study     111
Dialects and Writing     113
Oral and Written Language     113
Vernacular Dialect and Writing     115
Vernacular Influence in Writing     115
Difference and Error in Written Language     116
Teaching Writing     117
Editing     119
Approaches to Editing     119
Peer Editing     120
Writing in the Vernacular Dialect      120
Choosing the Vernacular     121
Dialogue Journals     121
Assessment of Writing Ability     122
Further Reading     124
Language Variation and Reading     125
Written Language and Spoken Language     126
What Do Teachers Need to Know About Dialects to Teach Reading?     127
Language Form     127
Beyond Language Form     129
Teaching Children to Relate Sound and Print     130
Effects of Dialect Differences on Reading Aloud     131
Dialects and Meaning-Based Reading Instruction     132
Teaching Children to Comprehend Text     133
Vocabulary     134
Comprehension Strategies     134
Background Knowledge and Comprehension     135
Reading Materials and Dialect Differences     136
Matching Materials and Dialects     136
Dialect Readers     136
Language Experience     138
Vernacular Dialect for Rhetorical Purpose     139
Reading and the Acquisition of Standard English     139
The Social Context of Reading     140
Reading Tests and Dialect Differences     141
Pronunciation, Grammar, and Vocabulary Differences      142
Background Knowledge     143
Other Fairness Factors     148
Further Reading     150
Dialect Awareness for Students     151
Resources for Learning About Dialects     153
Working With Data     154
Dialect Awareness     156
Introduction to Language Diversity     156
Levels of Dialect     157
The Patterning of Dialect     166
Language Change     179
Implementing Dialect Awareness Curricula     181
Further Study     186
An Inventory of Distinguishing Dialect Features     187
Phonological Features     188
Consonants     188
Vowels     191
Grammatical Features     195
Adverbs     201
Negation     203
Nouns and Pronouns     205
Other Grammatical Structures     208
References     209
Author Index     217
Subject Index     221
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