The Importance Of Standard Language In Schools

1999 Words 8 Pages
Introduction Learners in classrooms across America possess a variety of English dialects, creoles, and accents. However, not all of these students are aware of the differences between their way of speaking and Standard American English or SAE. Although one’s English dialect or creole is valuable and functional in their home and community, increasing one’s proficiency in SAE for use in the educational setting will add to their “toolkit” of skills but may also require support.
Explanation of Standard Language, Dialects, and Creoles
Standard Language
A standard form of a language can be described as the dominant, prestige, or educated dialect used in formal writing. Speaking the dominant variety is often an advantage as it helps one
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Two factors effecting the ease or difficulty that a student may experience while learning to use SAE is the degree of difference between one’s L1 dialect and SAE as well as one’s amount of exposure to SAE.
Among both African American English and Hawaii Creole English there are varieties and differences. Although all are forms of English with shared words and some similarities in grammar patterns which the learner may understand spoken when spoken in SAE, the degree of differences included in the factors previously discussed play a major role in the ease or difficulty in which one learns to write SAE. Learning to writing a language is a higher level skill than understanding what is heard. Additionally, writing is a skill which must be taught; unlike learning a language from exposure. As with learning any language, first understanding occurs, then production in oral and written form which is why producing writing in SAE may be extremely difficult for some learners. For
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Those students who have experienced a great deal of exposure (television, radio, internet, home, community) to SAE may easily switch between dialects while those students in more isolated regions may experience exposure to SAE only in the educational setting. While writing, a student writes as they speak using the same sounds and sentence structure as in their oral language. For a dialect which varies greatly from SAE, a student may struggle academically as the expectation in the educational setting is usually to communicate in SAE. Those without enough exposure to distinguish between their dialect and SAE are most at risk for academic difficulties. For example, learning to write using verb endings may be difficult if they are not part of one’s dialect. (Running, walked, speaks, etc.). Additionally, writing words that have a /r/ or /l/ sound which is usually unspoken in dialect could pose another

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