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Julie A. Washington, Ph.D. Georgia State University July 22, 2013 LANGUAGE, LITERACY, AND LINGUISTIC DIFFERENCES.

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Presentation on theme: "Julie A. Washington, Ph.D. Georgia State University July 22, 2013 LANGUAGE, LITERACY, AND LINGUISTIC DIFFERENCES."— Presentation transcript:

1 Julie A. Washington, Ph.D. Georgia State University July 22, 2013 LANGUAGE, LITERACY, AND LINGUISTIC DIFFERENCES

2  A symbol system  A dynamic system that grows and changes;  New words are added regularly, while others disappear;  Rule governed  Agreed upon by the community of speakers WHAT IS LANGUAGE?

3  Texters  OMG  ROFL  TTYL  Ethnic groups  African Americans: AAE  Mexicans: Spanish  Schools  Standard Classroom English: Language of Literacy **WHAT IS A COMMUNITY OF SPEAKERS?

4  If you have a code that differs in the written and oral domain your ability to resolve/manage those differences will influence how well you read! WHY ARE LANGUAGE DIFFERENCES IMPORTANT?

5  Reading is essentially a language skill. Engaging the student linguistically is necessary for literacy to develop as expected.  Students who use languages or dialects that differ from the school language or dialect are disadvantaged from the outset MY CONCERNS

6  It has been hypothesized that the mismatch between the language system spoken at home and the one used at school increases the cognitive load for students who speak other languages or dialects of English, making the process of learning to read much harder. IMPACT OF CULTURAL LANGUAGE DIFFERENCES

7 AFRICAN AMERICAN ENGLISH  Also called:  AAVE  BE  NNE  And (egads!) Ebonics

8 WHAT IS IT – REALLY?? A systematic, rule-governed variation of English Used by most (but not all) African Americans in the United States Developed as an oral language with no written counterpart A low prestige dialect whose legitimacy is still debated in some circles

9  Considered by many to be a poor reproduction of Standard English  The effect of speaking a different dialect or language can be particularly problematic if it is a low prestige dialect. MY ADDITIONAL CONCERN

10 WHAT DOES IT DO? African American English

11 ADDS AND DELETES MORPHEMES Zero Possessive Zero Past Tense Zero Plural  Third person singular - s I ride in my brother car And then he fix__ the food A girl puttin’ some glass_ on the table. Sometimes she wear__ a baseball cap.

12 TRANSFORMS THE MAIN VERB OR VERB PHRASE Deletion of the copula/auxiliary Subject-Verb Agreement Habitual be Remote past been He __ runnin’ fast He __ hungry. They was lookin’ for the big dog.  He be gettin’ some ice cream I been knowin’ how to swim.

13 CHANGES PRONOUNS  Undifferentiated pronoun case  Regularized reflexive  Appositive Pronoun  Them pullin’ them up the hill.”  He hurt hisself when he fell off his bike  My mama she took me to the movies

14 IMPACTS PHONOLOGY f /θ, v/ð and t/ θ in intervocalic and postvocalic positions d/ð in prevocalic positions Consonant cluster reduction Wif/with; bave/bathe; wit/with Dis/this; dem/them Col-/cold Hol-/hold


16 READING AND WRITING  Because we tend to read and write the way we talk  We perceive language and sounds the same way we use them, so  Spelling is affected  Writing is affected  Reading is affected  Childrens’ perceptions of the rules for spelling, writing and reading are also affected!!

17 AAE AND READING (CRAIG & WASHINGTON, 2003) Performance of 65 typically developing 2 nd through 5 th graders in an Urban community: 13 2 nd graders 27 3 rd graders 11 4 th graders 14 5 th graders 32 boys and 33 girls 30% overall were low income Gray Oral Reading Test-3 (GORT-3)

18 AAE AND READING GORT-3:  13 passages consisting of one topic centered paragraph;  Passages vary in length, syntactic complexity, and vocabulary difficulty as test progresses;  Appropriate for children 7:0 – 18:11 years of age;

19 AAE AND READING  Passages were scored twice:  once to identify all variations from print (miscues) and,  then to identify variations that were consistent with AAE  Self corrections were examined further for their relationship to AAE

20 AAE AND READING RESULTS  60/65 students (92%) used AAE during oral reading;  Of 1,740 variations from print, 21% could be characterized as AAE features  Low, negative correlation between overall use of dialect and Accuracy (r = -.35, p =.006), and Rate (r = -.26, p =.04)  That is, as use of AAE increased, rate and accuracy decreased.

21 AAE AND READING CONCLUSIONS  AAE is produced while reading SAE texts aloud;  Some students appeared to improve SAE accuracy in a trade-off with rate  Reading text as it is written takes an extra level of effort; penultimate paragraphs had the most dialect.

22 AAE AND WRITING  African American students use AAE in writing if they use it in oral language  African American students who can write in SAE can also speak SAE  Writing is both a bridge and a mirror into code-switching with African American students

23 AAE AND WRITING: 3 RD GRADE SAMPLE (UNEDITED) October 12, 2007 Writing Journal My Mom One day me and my mom was(were) at home because we was(were) about to go. I went outside. I was waiting. I open(ed) the garage and get(got) my bike out. I went ride?? for a minite(minute) and nobody was out. So I went back inside and went to my mom(‘s) room and she was watching TV and I tune(d) off to TV and tooed(told) my mom to stop watching TV. So we had play(ed) a game call lonede. My mom had mast up 3 time(s) on the game and she got it write. Then we went to the store. I had buy(bought) some chips, candy and a juice.

24 AAE AND WRITING: 7 TH GRADE (3 RD AND FINAL EDIT) Dear, cafeteria manager I pay two dollars and fifty cent(s) every day, and I want my lunch to be good if it cost(s) so much. The lunch makes my stomach hurt, and I have no energy after I am done eating lunch. Three thing(s) I think we should eat at lunch is(are)… #1 FRUIT fruit is healthy, and taste(s) better than the food we eat in are(our) lunch. We have some fruit in are(our) lunch, but we don’t have enough. We have peaches and oranges, but we don’t have fruit like apples, bananas, or cherries. Everybody needs more than two varieties of fruit. #2 DRINKS we should have different varieties to dring. All we have to drink is plain or chocolate mile. Some times I want bottle(d) water or kool- aid. Some times the milk is spoiled to. If we had orange juice or something more people would eat lunch.

25 CODE-SWITCHING African American English Standard Classroom English

26 Code a language variety Language variety a dialect, language, linguistic style, or prosodic register. Code-switching – alternation by a speaker between two or more language varieties CODE-SWITCHING

27  Influenced by contextual variables including:  Speaker characteristics: age, race/ethnicity, status, gender  “Codes emerge from interaction, and become relevant when parties to discourse treat them as such” (Nilep, 2006). CODE-SWITCHING

28  At school entry, LSES preschoolers who were the heaviest feature producers, were also producing the most advanced syntax and semantics (Craig & Washington, 1994; 1995).  This advantage disappears almost immediately after children enter school!


30 CODE-SWITCHING  Students who have not learned to use the school language code by the end of third grade are one or more grade levels behind by the time they get to 4 th or 5 th grade!

31 SCHOOL LANGUAGE AND READING Identifying and acknowledging the role of the home language is critical if progress is to be made toward improvement of poor reading performance. Research provides the information that teachers and other practitioners need to make informed decisions about how to proceed, what to target, and when to begin.

32 SCHOOL LANGUAGE AND READING  “…In order to bring (African Americans) into the mainstream of American society, schools must take into account the existence of a ''home language'' if it is different from standard English.” - Federal District Judge Charles W. Joiner (The Ann Arbor Black English decision, 1979)

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