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April 30, 2010


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So weird. By that logic, people with thick southern accents who say things like "talkin'" instead of "talking" should be eliminated. Th U.S. is a country of dialects. The way this thing should really be addressed is that all students learn about different dialects and that all teachers are prepared to teach that material. Of course that might require government money for professional development. Oh no!
The U.S. isn't like other countries that have language boards or whatever they call them. A lot of slang eventually becomes part of the mainstream. A teacher from an white, upper-middle class does him/herself a disservice by not being familiar with what Samy Alim http://www.anthro.ucla.edu/people/faculty?lid=3816
refers to as Black Language, just as a lower-class minority does him/herself a disservice by not knowing Standard English.
My sister teaches English Lit. to high schoolers in the UK, and they are required to study the differences between dialects, slang, and Standard English in a way that does not put down any of them. If she hadn't familiarized herself with all forms she'd be screwed. Just as I'd be screwed as an after-school teacher at Harlem Children's Zone if I hadn't studied all forms of the English language.
It's about knowing about how all Americans speak.

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