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Teaching Writing While Honoring Language and Culture at a Predominately Black Institution

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Abstract:

Discussions about the ways literacy affects the lives of African Americans can be seen in the research of W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and Carter G. Woodson, to name a few. African Americans have viewed literacy as a key to upward mobility and freedom since before America’s Reconstruction Era. However, they continue to lag behind their White counterparts when their literacy skills are measured by standardized assessments that do not consider or value their culture, their experiences, and their way of communicating, which may include using African American Vernacular English (AAVE). It is common to think that this is an issue only in K-12 settings, but postsecondary faculty find this to be an issue as well. However, research and practical experiences suggest that African American students’ achievement continues to be affected at the postsecondary level where they are likely to be taught by faculty who have little formal training in the art of teaching and/or limited experience with the research in the areas of literacy, language, and culture and how these things work in concert to form identity and academic esteem. This paper follows a theory-to-practice approach for educators who seek to better serve their students who speak AAVE as their primary language by [1] unpacking the rich history and system of AAVE, [2] exploring teachers’ perceptions of AAVE speakers’ literacy skills, [3] exploring ways to help speakers of AAVE make connections to mainstream English, and [4] exploring pedagogical techniques for teaching AAVE speakers.
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Association:
Name: 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1286631_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Williams, Concetta. and Magras, Lydia. "Teaching Writing While Honoring Language and Culture at a Predominately Black Institution" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH, Sep 27, 2017 <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1286631_index.html>

APA Citation:

Williams, C. A. and Magras, L. , 2017-09-27 "Teaching Writing While Honoring Language and Culture at a Predominately Black Institution" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1286631_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Discussions about the ways literacy affects the lives of African Americans can be seen in the research of W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and Carter G. Woodson, to name a few. African Americans have viewed literacy as a key to upward mobility and freedom since before America’s Reconstruction Era. However, they continue to lag behind their White counterparts when their literacy skills are measured by standardized assessments that do not consider or value their culture, their experiences, and their way of communicating, which may include using African American Vernacular English (AAVE). It is common to think that this is an issue only in K-12 settings, but postsecondary faculty find this to be an issue as well. However, research and practical experiences suggest that African American students’ achievement continues to be affected at the postsecondary level where they are likely to be taught by faculty who have little formal training in the art of teaching and/or limited experience with the research in the areas of literacy, language, and culture and how these things work in concert to form identity and academic esteem. This paper follows a theory-to-practice approach for educators who seek to better serve their students who speak AAVE as their primary language by [1] unpacking the rich history and system of AAVE, [2] exploring teachers’ perceptions of AAVE speakers’ literacy skills, [3] exploring ways to help speakers of AAVE make connections to mainstream English, and [4] exploring pedagogical techniques for teaching AAVE speakers.


 
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