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Challenges in Education Learning to Read and Write Lecture Notes

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Challenges in Education (Lippi-Green ch. 6-7)
- Learning to read and write is difficult for many children
- 22% of kids go for speech/language/special ed help in Manhattan
- Brooklyn: 27%
- Staten Island: 37%
- Everywhere else: 9%
- Certain groups have more difficulty than others in reading:
- Percentage of 4th graders who scored lower than average reading skills:
- Low income: - Higher Income:
- White: 38% 17%
- Black: 58% 38%
- Hispanic: 56% 36%
- Asian: 35% 14%
- American indian: 59 % 34%
- Who carries the blame?
- The home language or language variety of English spoken in the home can be different
from SAE. When children have difficulty learning to read and developing academic
language - their home language blamed
- Children come to school with language varieties that are different from Standard
American English (SAE). But reading and writing are taught only in SAE
- SAE is associated with social capital - academic success, social mobility, mainstream,
political establishment, institutions
- Therefore, a primary goal for schools is to teach SAE. Reading and writing are taught
through SAE
- Reminder Note:
- Phonology→ regards accent
- Morphology→ regards dialect
- Syntax→ how words are put together
- Lexicon→ differences in words
- The case of Ebonics
- This was an attempt to recognize the home language variety (AAVE) of a majority of
African American children in California’s schools
- On december 18, 1996, the Oakland Unified School District school board of Oakland,
California, United states, passed a controversial resolution recognizing the legitimacy of
Ebonics - what mainstream linguists more commonly term African American Vernacular
English (AAVE) - as an African language
- Public Response:
- Rev. Jesse Jackson→ “I understand the attempt to reach out to these children,
but this is an unacceptable surrender, borderlining on disgrace.
- Linguistic Response:
- Characterizing Ebonics as “lazy” and “wrong” is incorrect and demeaning
- The school is justified in trying to teach the African American children SAE
- How does the media teach children to discriminate? --> Three little pigs video

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- - - - - Challenges in Education (Lippi-Green ch. 6-7) Learning to read and write is difficult for many children 22% of kids go for speech/language/special ed help in Manhattan - Brooklyn: 27% - Staten Island: 37% - Everywhere else: 9% Certain groups have more difficulty than others in reading: - Percentage of 4th graders who scored lower than average reading skills: - Low income: - Higher Income: - White: 38% 17% - Black: 58% 38% - Hispanic: 56% 36% - Asian: 35% 14% - American indian: 59 % 34% Who carries the blame? - The home language or language variety of English spoken in the home c ...
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