On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
By continuing to use LinkedIn’s SlideShare service, you agree to the revised terms, so please take a few minutes to review them.
The Skin That We Speak : Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom Edited By: Lisa Delpit Lauren Cramer, Rhiannon Plock, Ryan Solomon, Danielle Vitta, Briana Walsh Fox News and Black English
“ Home” – English or dialect, which most students learn at home and recent immigrants often learn from peers, and which for the first and second generation immigrants may be a combination of English and their mother tongue.
“ Formal” or academic English, which is learned by many in school, from reading, and from the media, although it may also be learned in well-educated families.
“ Professional” – the particular language of one’s profession, which is most likely learned in college or on the job, or in vocational education.
“ I see no reason why students have to be convinced that the way they talk is wrong in order to master formal English grammar and speech.”
Trilingualism proves that there really is no “wrong” way of talking, it just depends on the setting that you are in and the speech, people that you are with.
“ I speak English with my family, except for my grandparents. With my friends I speak English slang and sometimes Spanish. Sometimes when I speak Spanish I end up finishing my sentences in English because there is words that I don’t know in Spanish.”
Juanita: Puerto Rican but lived in Boston most of her life.
Learning about the different “types” of standard English students become less afraid of how they speak and they become more conscious of how they are speaking in certain settings
“ They can weigh their options, choose how they want to speak and write in each new setting.”
Code-switching (n): the alternate use of two
or more languages or varieties of language, esp. within the same discourse.
“ Standard English” vs. “African American Language” or “African American Vernacular English” (AAVE), “Black English,” “Ebonics”
Chapter 3: “No Kinda Sense” (Lisa Delpit)
Maya: 11 years old, Middle-Class, African American, daughter of a university professor, Standard American English as “first” language but develops AAVE at her new school.
“ She be all like, ‘What ch’all talkin’ ‘about?’ like she ain’t had no kinda sense.”
“ M-m-m g-i-r-r-r-l, that sweet potato pie is smokin’! I don’t know how you do it, but that pie is callin’ my name!”
“ Mom, you don’t have to worry about me… ‘cause I know how to code switch!”
Done to “fit in”
Change according to setting
School or Work
How does one learn to code switch?
Seen throughout The Skin That We Speak
Chapter 1: “Ovuh Dyuh” (Joanne Kilgour Dowdy)
“ Now my soul could find its way throughout my body, and I could feel at one with my inner reality . No more hesitation of translating Trinidadian to British idiom, no more the self-doubt associated with being perceived as a second language learner . But now, at last, I had the dignity of shaping my world as I saw it and the ability to name the world the world in the way that I experienced it. I now had a choice between the “th”s and the “de”s”.
People Judged Based on Language
Linguicism (n): prejudicial stereotyping involved in blaming nonstandard speakers’ oral dialects for their academic failures (P-G)
Deficit or Difference? (Ch. 8 P-Gates)
Language and Class Membership (Ch. 8)
Standard English used to ward off stereotypes
( Ch. 11 Meacham)
African American English = Unintelligence (Ch. 11)
Not just an American issue (Ch. 12 Wynne)
Relating My Personal Experiences to TSTWS
“ Walking to the bus”
“ Growing up, My mother and grandmother always corrected my grammar”
“ Oreo Cookie”
“ Talking White, Whatever that is???”
Efforts from Dowdy’s mother and grandmother (Ch. 1 Dowdy)
Standard English = “Talking right” (Ch. 11 Wynne)
Standard English = Language of Power (Ch. 11)
Feelings of Inferiority
Journalism students feel inferior after winning an award (Ch. 12 Wynne)
African American parents would not speak in front of a group of mainstream parents (Ch. 12 Wynne)
What Can Be Done?
Accept, believe and act upon the belief that all children are learners (P-G)
Welcome different dialects of language in the classroom (P-G)
Learn from one another, and respect everyone’s language as valid (Wynne)
Realize that Standard English is a dialect (Wynne)
Diversify thoughts by bringing dialect
lessons into the classroom (Wynne)
“ Lingering Conflict in the Schools: Black Dialect vs. Standard Speech” by Felicia R. Lee (The New York Times)
The Inner City Youth’s POV
There is a stigma with “talking proper”
Resistance of young
blacks to assimilate
Can’t gain respect by
peers if they talk proper
POV of Inner City Educators
Teachers’ constantly correcting students grammar
Teachers’ want to prepare their students for the mainstream
Have to speak well to gain respect
Young inner city youth need more positive role models (people of color)
What Should Teachers Do?
“ A teacher’s job is to provide access to the national ‘standard’ as well as to understand the language the children speak sufficiently to celebrate its beauty.”
– Lisa Delpit
What Should Teachers Do?
Research has shown that the constant interruption and correction of Ebonics-influenced pronunciation and grammar many teachers employ in an effort to help their students become better speakers and readers actually cause students to subvocalize, fidget and guess at pronunciations – all while also making them less confident, and consequently less likely to volunteer in the future.
So what should teachers do?
What Should Teachers Do?
Acting out instances of formal speech
Classroom news broadcasts
Videotaping speeches and self-critiquing
Students will learn the usefulness of different language styles in different contexts.