Title of Abstract

Linguistic Security and Dialect Inclusion in Education: Equality for the Whole Student

Submitting Student(s)

Jessica Prescott

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Jo Koster, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

English

Abstract

In this paper, I discuss the impact of acceptance and inclusion of stigmatized dialects in the classroom, specifically of African American Vernacular English (AVVE). Primarily utilizing the research and articles published by Dr. Vershawn Ashanti Young, Dr. Rita Kohil, Amanda Godley, Julia Thomas, and Rebecca Wheeler, I examine how implementing an inclusive perspective of dialect in educational settings results in greater linguistic security, self-confidence, and academic achievement in students. I also discuss the negative effects of the typical Standard English-only method of instruction and how it perpetuates racial linguistic hierarchies. Terms such as ‘proper’ or ‘professional’ in the context of language use connote that there is a hierarchy of language; and if a student’s home dialect does not align with what is deemed appropriate for the situation it is implied that their language is inferior. I also point to how the inclusion of dialect diversity could help to diminish the black/white student achievement gap and promote equity in learning for every student.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Linguistic Security and Dialect Inclusion in Education: Equality for the Whole Student

In this paper, I discuss the impact of acceptance and inclusion of stigmatized dialects in the classroom, specifically of African American Vernacular English (AVVE). Primarily utilizing the research and articles published by Dr. Vershawn Ashanti Young, Dr. Rita Kohil, Amanda Godley, Julia Thomas, and Rebecca Wheeler, I examine how implementing an inclusive perspective of dialect in educational settings results in greater linguistic security, self-confidence, and academic achievement in students. I also discuss the negative effects of the typical Standard English-only method of instruction and how it perpetuates racial linguistic hierarchies. Terms such as ‘proper’ or ‘professional’ in the context of language use connote that there is a hierarchy of language; and if a student’s home dialect does not align with what is deemed appropriate for the situation it is implied that their language is inferior. I also point to how the inclusion of dialect diversity could help to diminish the black/white student achievement gap and promote equity in learning for every student.