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English Language Learning

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The Issue of Dialect Taken together, these three factors were so powerful that they quickly put an end to these well-intended but very misguided materials. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: English Language Learning


1
The Issue of Dialect
2
What is the difference between a dialect and a
language?
Dialects are variations of the same spoken
language.
3
Speakers of two dialects can understand one
another.
4
Three Features of Dialect
  • 1. Pronunciation
  • Same written word pronounced differently
  • Biblical example shibboleth (Judges 125-6)
  • 2. Syntax
  • Rules of grammar may differ slightly
  • 3. Vocabulary
  • Same concept represented by different words

5
Two Types of Dialects
  • Regional Dialects
  • Associated with a geographic area
  • Slowly fading due to media and mobility
  • Social Dialects
  • Associated with a social/ethnic group
  • Not spoken by all members of the group
  • Many speakers can shift styles

6
Three Major U.S. Regional Dialects
Northern Midland Southern
7
North vs. South
Examples of Vocabulary
8
North vs. South
Examples of Pronunciation
9
Test Yourself!
Which of the regional dialects, by an executive
agreement reached in New York City, became the
gold standard of broadcast journalism during the
advent of television in the late 1940s? ?
Northern ? Midland ? Southern
10
Test Yourself!
Which of the regional dialects, by an executive
agreement reached in New York City, became the
gold standard of broadcast journalism during the
advent of television in the late 1940s? ?
Northern ? Midland ? Southern
11
Regional Dialects
Regional dialects encompass the entire
English-speaking world. Dialects spoken in the
UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, for
example, are in the same category as U.S.
regional dialects.
12
Winston Churchill, 1874-1965
Britain and America are two nations separated by
a common language.
13
Social Dialects
  • The most important social dialect in America is
    called African-American Vernacular English
    (AAVE).
  • AAVE is also called Black English and
    Ebonics.
  • Syntax is an important feature as it relates to
    the verb to be. In AAVE, the verb to be is not
    always conjugated (e.g., He be sick.)
  • AAVE differs from Midland English mostly in
    matters of pronunciation.

14
Social Dialects
Examples of AAVE Pronunciation
15
Does AAVE stand in the way of learning to read?
16
Does AAVE stand in the way of learning to read?
There is no SBRR on this point, but dialecticians
argue that AAVE is not a problem.
17
But dont kids need to know Standard English?
18
But dont kids need to know Standard English?
Dialecticians point out that no one actually
speaks Standard English.
19
In fact, they dislike the term Standard English.
What we all must learn to read is called Edited
American English.
20
Which no one speaks except Professor McKenna.
21
But what if reading materials were available in
AAVE?
22
Experiments with Black Readers
  • Attempts to use AAVE readers in the 1960s failed
    for three reasons
  • Not all African-American children spoke AAVE.
  • Effectiveness studies proved that the readers did
    not work.
  • African-American parents objected to their use.

23
Lisa Delpit has called the prestige Midland
dialect the Power Code, arguing that its use is
a prerequisite to economic success in America.
24
But shouldnt we insist on correct pronunciations
when children read?
25
But shouldnt we insist on correct pronunciations
when children read?
As a rule, no. There are at least four good
reasons for not always correcting them.
26
1
Reason 1 for not automatically correcting dialect
pronunciations
There is no linguistic standard for
correctness. Some pronunciations are simply
more prevalent than others. Test yourself How
do you pronounce these words? Missouri Arkansas
27
1
Reason 1 for not automatically correcting dialect
pronunciations
There is no linguistic standard for
correctness. Some pronunciations are simply
more prevalent than others. Test yourself How
do you pronounce these words? Missouri Arkansas
28
1
Reason 1 for not automatically correcting dialect
pronunciations
There is no linguistic standard for
correctness. Some pronunciations are simply
more prevalent than others. Test yourself How
do you pronounce these words? Missouri Arkansas
29
1
Reason 1 for not automatically correcting dialect
pronunciations
There is no linguistic standard for
correctness. Some pronunciations are simply
more prevalent than others. Try this one greasy
30
2
Reason 2 for not automatically correcting dialect
pronunciations
The childs pronunciation may not affect
comprehension. This is the acid
test! Pronouncing help without sounding the l is
just not on a par with pronouncing red with a
long e.
31
3
Reason 3 for not automatically correcting dialect
pronunciations
Calling attention to every dialect pronunciation
may distract young children from comprehending
and/or from learning the alphabetic principle.
32
3
Reason 3 for not automatically correcting dialect
pronunciations
Imagine trying to correct all of the dialect
pronunciations in this sentence Text I cant
write with your pen. Child Ah caint rot witch
yo pin.
33
4
Reason 4 for not automatically correcting dialect
pronunciations
During the middle school years children become
aware of the social significance of their
dialect. Without being instructed in how to do
so, most learn to shift styles easily, to match
the context.
William Labov, 1962
34
To sum up, remember that dialects are variations
of the same spoken language.
35
To sum up, remember that dialects are variations
of the same spoken language.
Languages English Spanish
36
To sum up, remember that dialects are variations
of the same spoken language.
Languages English
Spanish Southern Midland Northern
37
There are two distinct levels.

Languages English
Spanish Southern Midland Northern
Language Level Dialect Level
38
This is true whether we are describing regional
or social dialects.

Languages English
Spanish Power Code AAVE
Language Level Dialect Level
39
Speakers of all dialects must learn to read the
same written language.

Languages English
Spanish Power Code AAVE
Language Level Dialect Level
40
The Issue of Ebonics
  • Ebonics Ebony Phonics
  • The rationale is political
  • If AAVE could be classified not as a dialect
    but as a language other than English, ESL
    funding would become available for schools
    with high percentages of African-American
    students.

41
  • Teachers in the primary grades should
  • be aware of dialect differences, both social and
    regional
  • avoid trying to change childrens dialects by
    correcting their pronunciation and
  • model the Power Code in their own spoken
    English.
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