The Ebonics Debate
An overview of the African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) debate in the American educational system.
# 57964 | 2,136 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2002 |
Published on Apr 21, 2005 in Education (Curriculum) , Language (English: Linguistics) , Education (Social Issues) , African-American Studies (General) , Linguistics (General)
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In December 1996, the Oakland School Board decided that it was going to accept and recognize Ebonics, or what is known as African-American Vernacular English (AAVE), as a valid dialect and would use it in teaching African-American children. This paper examines the linguistic controversy surrounding this decision, showing the pros of using AAVE in schools across the United States.
From the Paper:"AAVE is a fact of life and it is creating a linguistic and cultural disunity in the United States by allowing teachers to stereotype black students and by ensuring that black students do not acquire Standard English fluency. The introduction of AAVE as a tool language of instruction simply means accepting that fact of life and using it to correct current problems facing African Americans in the educational system." Educational psychologists, such as William Labov, have determined that the primary obstacle to academic progress for most African American students is their inability to fully understand what is communicated to them or, in turn, communicate what they are thinking in a dialect that teachers can comprehend (10)."
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