Childhood Bilingualism: Aspects of Linguistic, Cognitive, and Social Development

By Peter Homel; Michael Palij et al. | Go to book overview

ment of editing skills are methods that might be included. The objective is for students to learn to recognize what is not standard in their language and writing and to be able to confidently produce the forms of the standard dialect in appropriate situations.

Teachers should be able to recognize errors in the use of Standard English as the product of historically different language systems that are in contact, rather than signals of an inability to learn, to reason, or to be organized. They also must be able to understand that language forms are themselves neutral tools of human communication that have a historic existence and a social and psychological utility. There is a need to recognize that these factors have little to do with the social value assigned by the society to language forms that are different from the standard norm of the educated elite. Students need not be deprived of the dialect of their family and friends; but they clearly need to learn Standard English for educational, social, and economic mobility. They have not done so to a large extent because their school systems and their teachers have not been prepared or able to teach them.

The situation outlined here is not facile. Strong and courageous efforts must be made in order to address the tragic imcompetence in the teaching of English and in the English teaching establishment. For those many students who enter school eager to learn but who do not succeed because their dialect forms are different in a complex way from the language of the school, there is a real need for a bidialectal approach to the teaching of students who are influenced by Black English.


REFERENCES

Bailey, B. L. ( 1965). "Toward a New Perspective in Negro English Dialectology". American Speech, 40, 171-177.

( CCCC) ( 1974). College Composition and Communication, 25, (special issue).

Craig, D. R. ( 1971). "Education and Creole English in the West Indies: Some sociolinguistic factors". in D. Hymes (Ed.), Pidginization and Creolization of Languages London: Cambridge University Press.

Brown, R. & Bellugi, U. ( 1964). "Three Processes in the Child's Acquisition of Syntax". Harvard Educational Review, 34, 133-151.

Cruickshank, J. G. ( 1916). Black Talk: Being notes on Negro dialect in British Guiana with (inevitably) a chapter on the vernacular of Barbados. Demerara: The Argosy.

Dillard, J. L. ( 1967). "Negro children's dialect in the inner city". The Florida FL Reporter, 5(3).

Dillard, J. L. ( 1972). Black English: Its history and usage in the United States. New York: Random House.

Ferguson, C. A. ( 1959). "Diglossia". Word, 15, 325-340.

Hall, R. A. ( 1966). Pidgin and creole languages. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Halliday, M. A. K., Mcintosh, A., and Strevens, P. ( 1964). The linguistic sciences and language teaching. London: Longmans.

Labov, W. ( 1966). The social stratification of English in New York City. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.

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