Friday, January 27, 2012

Black Dialect and Learning to Read

Note: In the 1970s, the problem of black dialect and learning to read standard English language was suggested as the most important reason that African-American children in urban areas failed to learn to read. Here’s the rationale:

Quote: “Alarming numbers of urban Black children have trouble learning to read. Attention has focused on the Black child’s dialect since his language development may make it difficult for him to learn to read with standard materials.” P. 581.

Examples of Black Dialect:
> Third person singular verbs (My sister wonder).

>Presence of copula (He in the way).

> Place of auxiliary verb in wh-questions (Why she won’t come?).

> Possessives (Linda hat).

>Double negative (I don’t got no).

> Verb agreements (He run home).

>. Preposition drops (He go the store).

Comment: I don’t think the problem of Black English in learning to read was ever definitively settled. I think it’s still an issue, but a forgotten one. RayS.

Title: “Black Dialect Reading Tests in the Urban Elementary School.” Carol H. Hockman. The Reading Teacher (March 1973), 581-582+.

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