ESL Web Directory




African American Vernacular English

AAVE is a form of American English spoken primarily by African Americans. Although an AAVE speaker's dialect may exhibit regional variation, there are still many salient features. The speaker's ideolect could contain all or only a few of these features.
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Amended Resolution Of The Board Of Education Adopting The Report And Recomm

A Policy Statement And Directing The Superintendent Of Schools To Devise A Program To Improve The English Language Acquisition And Application Skills Of African-American Students.
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Coexistent Systems in African American English

This contribution to the study of African American Vernacular English [AAVE] is an interpretation of the special linguistic features of this dialect in the light of its co-existence with other co-territorial dialects of English. It is far removed from the notion that AAVE can be seen as a system in itself, analyzed without reference to other dialects, which has been repeated theme of research in this area from the very beginnings to the present day.
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Many people who I highly respect have disagreed with the recent development regarding "Black English" or "Ebonics". Instead of appplauding the Oakland unified school districts decision to require teachers to learn "Ebonics" they deemed it "foolish" and believe that it is "teaching down" to our African American children.
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Ebonics and Linguistic Science: Clarifying the Issues

The Oakland Unified School District Board of Education approved a policy affirming Standard American English development for all students. The policy mandates that effective instructional strategies must be utilized in order to ensure that every child has the opportunity to achieve English language proficiency. Language development for African American students will be enhanced with the recognition and understanding of the language structures unique to African American students.
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Junk Science and the Ebonics Resolution

To this day, there is much confusion about the intent of the 1996 Oakland School Board Resolution on "ebonics," as it was called in the legislation, known among scholars in the field as African-American Vernacular English (AAVE).
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Language that dare not speak its name

Proposals by a school board in California to recognize the dialect used by most of its pupils unleashed a ferocious media attack. Why did the press get things so wrong, and why were the proposals so virulently ridiculed?
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Lsa Resolution On The Oakland

Whereas there has been a great deal of discussion in the media and among the American public about the l8 December l996 decision of the Oakland School Board to recognize the language variety spoken by many African American students and to take it into account in teaching Standard English, the Linguistic Society of America, as a society of scholars engaged in the scientific study of language, hereby resolves to make it known that:
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NIH AAE Working Group Position Statement on Ebonics

The AAE Working Group is committed to the objective study of African American English (AAE) as a legitimate dialect of English. We are establishing guidelines to distinguish language differences and similarities between AAE and Standard American English (SAE) so that language professionals can diagnose language problems more accurately for AAE speakers.
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Original Oakland Resolution on Ebonics

Resolution of the board of education adopting the report and recommendations of the African-American task force; a policy statement and directing the superintendent of schools to devise a program to improve the English language acquisition and application skills of African-American students.
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The Creole Origins of African American Vernacular English

Two issues loom large in discussions of the development of African American Vernacular English (AAVE).1 The first is the "creole origins issue"--the question of whether AAVE's predecessors, two or three hundred years ago, included creole languages similar to Gullah (spoken on the islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia) or the English-based creoles of Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, Hawaii or Sierra Leone. The second is the "divergence issue.
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The Ebonics controversy in my backyard

Linguists sometimes seem to have a NIMBY attitude towards Applied Linguistics issues and the Great Language Debates of our Times, motivated perhaps by the fear that they will distract us from the theoretical and descriptive research we consider our bread and butter (if not our fame and fortune), that they will devour our time and dilute our expertise, or that they will lead us into uncharted waters for which our training and experience provide little preparation.
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To the editors, The New Republic

Jacob Heilbrum's "Speech Therapy" piece on Ebonics (what most linguists refer to as "African American Vernacular English") contains some grains of fact, but many more mountains of inaccuracy and misrepresentation. Please allow me to set the record straight.
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