Hey guys. I'm doing an unbiased study concerning whether students from the West Indies (Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, Barbados) who speak Patua or West Indian Creole receive speech and language OR ESL services. I am targeting those of you who are ESL teachers or Speech and Language therapists in particular. This would help GREATLY in my study and I would appreciate your involvement if you are, in fact, a professional in this field.
I'll forego the questinaire if you don't mind and simply add something from my experience.
I once taught a small group from one or two small islands in the Carribben. Included in this class, was a woman from the US. Though all of them stated that they wanted to, in their words, "talk and write proper", I found it quite a challenge to teach them to change the way they talk. This was so even though, in some cases, they were well aware of what was correct and not correct by the standards to which they wanted to conform. At times, it came down to what they chose to say - their decison. One of the students told me that sometimes "speaking proper" is not received very well where she comes from because people can take it to mean that one is trying to place oneself above others - by speaking in conformance with one of the major styles of English that is.
English speakers from the West Indies who say they seriously want to make adjustments to their language in order to, let's say, sound more professional, should be able to receive classes and take courses for this purpose. However, I don't believe that ESL classes are the answer. This sort of English language student is unique and such situations must be approached in accordance with the students' needs.
The aim or focus of ESL classes can sometimes be to help students speak more fluently, while grammatical accuracy is sometimes given secondary status. This would clearly not be a good situation for English language students from the West Indies. As well, improving grammatical accuracy means one thing to ESL students and something entirely different to English language students such as those from the West Indies.