Chicano English : A Low Social Status Essay

798 Words Nov 9th, 2015 4 Pages
The idea that Chicano English has a low social status is not novel to speakers of the dialect. Ms. Guerra, a San Francisco native who speaks Chicano English, says she feels like people take her less seriously, especially because her “vocabulary and grammar is not good to begin with.” Note that Guerra may think that her vocabulary and grammar is “not good” because she compares to to the standard and what she was taught in school, and does not validate the correctness of her own dialect. Rather than seeing it as a dialect, she thinks she is just not as good in English. Ms. Guerra says that she feels much more comfortable speaking around other people with non-standard dialects, especially her own Chicano dialect. She tries to “play it down” when speaking with Standard English speakers, but there is little difference. For her, as a teenager, there was heavy association with misbehavior, crime, and laziness. This is because the low social status of the dialect results in the speakers being perceived as low in social class.
Perhaps due to this phenomenon, non-speakers and speakers of Chicano English both seem to regard it as a bad thing, and something that should change to strive for Standard English, as supported by the nativist attitude toward Chicano students in California K-12 public schools (Pérez Huber, 2011).
Language is an important marker of group identity or membership (Language, Society, and Culture class notes). To Ms. Guerra, “it is a marker of solidarity, but not in…

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