Ebonics’ Effects on Language Development in the ECE

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Transcript Ebonics’ Effects on Language Development in the ECE

LaKeisha Stockton
Theories of Cognitive Development
December 3, 2007
 African American children in the United States are
doing worse that than other children of other races in
 61% of 4th graders received below basic in reading on
the National Assessment of Educational Progress
 That’s compared to the 27% percent of white 4th
graders who received below basic
 African American children receive below basic at
higher rates than Asian and Hispanic children who
have English as their 2nd langauge
 Why are these statistics so?
 Professor Basil Bernstein
of the University of
London’s Institute of
Education stated that "if
the culture of the teacher
is to become part of the
consciousness of the child,
the culture the child must
first be in the
consciousness of the
 The traditional
approach to
education is not
working for African
American students
Ebonics…What is it
 A term coined by psychologist Robert L. Williams in
1973 by George Washington University in St. Louis
 A combination of the 2 words ebony and phonics
 Synonyms: African American Vernacular English and
Black English
 Linguistic educators generally agree that Ebonics is a
legitimate language variety in its own right
 It is used by 90% of African American at some point
Ebonics… What is It?
 It is a reflection of African American history which has
traces in West Africa and times of slavery and
 Slavery created the need to code or disguise English
from the white man, since slaves were forced to
communicate in English
 Slaves created a way to change meaning of their words
in the conversation without alarming the whites
Ebonics…. What is it?
 It is Euro-American speech with an Afro-American
meaning, nuance, tone, and gesture
 It is a language that has retained many grammatical
and other linguistic elements from their West African
mother tongue
The Oakland Debate
 In 1997, the Oakland, CA unified school district made
it’s Standard English Proficiency program mandatory
 Although this program had be been around for years
and many teacher participated, it stirred up our
country all the way to the Nation’s capitol
The Oakland Debate
 It was created to educate teachers who work with
African-American children about the history of Black
 After the teachers have been exposed to the history
and the linguistic foundations of black
communication, the program gives teachers some
techniques that may help students learn to code
The Oakland Debate
 Teachers are also given the tools to understand what
children are saying that they may not have otherwise
 This program acknowledges the equal footing of
Ebonics and Standard English both as valid
communication systems.
Ebonics in the Classroom
 Some outcomes of Ebonics programs throughout the
country show that when teachers are trained in
Ebonics, African-American children are learning
 Teachers must have high expectations for Ebonicsspeaking children
 It is important for students who speak Ebonics to be
willing to learn an additional way of communicating
with a wider community.
 It is also important for them to be motivated to learn
Standard English
Ebonics and Literacy
 Ebonics can be used as a bridge to teaching Standard
English although this should not be its only merit
 teaching a second language, Standard English, and not
fixing the home language, Ebonics, that children bring
to school
Ebonics and Literacy
 Having an environment
that is rich in literature
helps students learn
Standard English and be
proud of their own
 Incorporate works of Paul
Laurence Dunbar and
Langston Hughes who
have works in both
Standard English and
Ebonics in the ECE Classroom
 Students perform better when test are administered in
there home language
 One study found that students performed better when
they were exposed to some of the techniques common
for the African American community
 This study also found that effectiveness of the use of
these techniques depend on the experiences with and
knowledge of African American culture
 The use of word flash card drills, phrase drills, and
sentence drills are also effective
Ebonics and Language and Literacy
 the auditory language
memory of a child is set
by age three or four
 To distinguish effectively
between Ebonics and
Standard English
students must hear and
develop an ear for both
Ebonics and Language and Literacy
 a child’s usage of Ebonics
did not directly correlate
with their preparedness
for literacy development
 overall linguistic skill is
a better predictor of
students’ reading than
whether or not the
linguistic skills children
uses are Ebonics or
Standard English
 It is important for teachers of African American
students to have extensive experiences with the
African-American culture and traditions outside the
world of school if they are to be successful in
connecting with their students
 Teachers should embrace African-American
techniques to reach African-american students
 Current Research on the Oakland Standard English
Proficiency is needed to this show program’s success
 Some of the research presented in this essay has
shown that language and learning have improved
when Ebonics and African-American culture have
been included in curriculum.
Some Leading Articles
 Anderson, P.J. (1999). The real Ebonics debate: Power,
language, and the education of African American children.
Multicultural Education. Retrieved November 19, 2007
from www.findarticles.com.
 Bohn, A. P. (2003). Familiar voices: Using Ebonics
communication techniques in the primary classroom.
Urban Education, 38(6), 688-707.
 Conner, C.M. & Craig H.K. (2006). African American
preschoolers’ language, emergent literacy skills, and use of
African American English: A complex relation. Journal of
Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 49, 771-792.
Some Leading Articles
 Embracing Ebonics and teaching standard English: An
interview with Oakland Teacher Carrie Secret. (n.d.).
Rethinking Schools Online. Retrieved November 19,2007
 Getridge, C.M. (1997). Our story of ebonics: A tale of
language, lieracy, and learning. School Administrator.
Retrieved November 19, 2007 from www.findarticles.com.
 Perez, S.A. (2000). Using Ebonics or Black English as a
bridge to teaching Standard English. Contemporary
Education, 71(4), 34-37.