African American English and the Achievement Gap: The Role of Dialectal Code Switching

1st Edition

Holly K. Craig

Routledge
Published March 1, 2016
Reference - 176 Pages
ISBN 9780415743860 - CAT# Y161437
Series: Routledge Research in Education

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Summary

Many African American children make use of African American English (AAE) in their everyday lives, and face academic barriers when introduced to Standard American English (SAE) in the classroom. Research has shown that students who can adapt and use SAE for academic purposes demonstrate significantly better test scores than their less adaptable peers. Accordingly, AAE use and its confirmed inverse relationship to reading achievement have been implicated in the Black-White Test Score Gap, thus becoming the focus of intense research and practical interest.

This volume discusses dialectal code-switching from AAE to SAE and stresses the benefits and importance of African American students becoming bi-dialectal. It provides background theory and science supporting the most promising educational approach to date, Contrastive Analysis, a set of longstanding methods drawn from Second Language research and used effectively with students ranging from kindergarten through college. It offers a deeper knowledge of AAE use by students, the critical features of Contrastive Analysis, and detailed information about successful applications which teachers can apply in their own pedagogy.

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