Poll: Should Ebonics be taught in schools?

Should Ebonics be taught in schools?


Statistics Poll Stats

This Poll:

  • Votes: 3,547
  • Comments: 91
  • Added: September 2003



I voted "yes" but it should only be taught as a stepping stone to learning Standard English and phased out early.


As long as more standard forms are taught alongside, I can't see the problem If it is encouraged without alternatives, then I think it is merely limiting the scope for the students' futures.


I can't believe 21 speakers voted "No". Hmm, says a lot for the education system. What're they teaching?


Ebonics has already been qualified by linguists as a genuine, authentic language/dialect. Only people who are threatened by a multi-cultural society who object. It does not have to be taught instead of standard English, but in addition to - making the student multi-lingual. A good thing all the way around.


A good thing all round strikes me as positive, Ferrie.

Trenton Davis

to me ebonics should not be taught because it is not a language it is a culture of change.


Is there a risk that by teaching it,you might restrict a student's potential if they don't also speak a more standard English- a strong dialect, or even separate language, is not much use in international dealings.


Something strikes me as strange in Ben's post. If they're not sure whether it's a language or a dialect, how sure is the qualification?


umh i think it should be though in school as an elective, i mean students can chooose if they wanna take it or not. becasue its not only a language its a culture.


yes because it is something everyone uses on a daily basis


I think so very much because we would understand way better


I think that we could save a lot of money and stimulate national pride by teaching only in English. I love foreign languages and speak a little German and Itilian but I believe we need a common language.


I think ebonics is a very big part in african american history and should be properly shared to the world. Properly introduced, instead of all the perceptions that are brought with people that speak ebonics. If it was taught in schools, the perceptions would be set straight. I speak ebonics and i feel that it should be taught as a part of african american studies.


It shouldn't be taught in lieu of standard English. It's pointless to teach dialect as it changes so often, anyway.


I voted no because if it were to be taught, then it would just be contributing to the cause. One cannot speak ebonic in a corperate environment, so why should it be taught in our only to be "untaught" for purposes of communication outside of the speakers comfort zone. However, I would agree with what others have said previously that it could be taught as an elective or part of African American culture/ history.

debbie mays

i think it should be taught, my culture, african american speak alot of ebonics, which is broken english language. many people don't have the opportunity to attend college and learn the correct english language and all they know is what they hear. In many cultures a a certain language or relationship evolves in that culture and you learn the language and that your way of communicating. I think it should be taught so that people will learn the correct way and how people get to this language, is it a cultural thing, not able to speak or pronounce letters and words correctly?


Ebonics is not a language it is a dialect. Many people argue that one should not use ebonics when in fact they are absolutely correct. Ebonics has worked it's way into all school systems including colleges. One thing that is a major problem is that ebonics is kind of becoming a fad, " It's cool to talk slang," I mean, celebrities do it right? This style of talking is not nearly as "ghetto" as people make it to be. As we all know parents these days are getting younger and younger and most of them drop out of school leaving them limited to the ways they train their children. No one can teach a child or speak correctly if they can't do it correctly themselves.


No, how patronising!


"Should Ebonics be taught in schools?"

As what? A foreign language? If the kids already speak it it doesn't need to be taught to them. Instead, standard English is often a foreign language to them. *That* is what they need to learn. They need to learn how to communicate in the bigger world rather than just with those in the 'hood.



Miah wrote "I think ebonics is a very big part in african american history and should be properly shared to the world. " I wasn't aware that English was native to Africa, er, africa.


Ebonics should not be taught in schools. One reason is a child has to come up in a world that is based on technology and everyhting is changing day by day. In the corporate world a child that has learned ebonics will know that is okay to speak it, but in that type of workd it hurts the chances of getting the job that the person deserves.


An old subjunctive form : the assertive form : It is advisable Ebonics(should) be taught in schools.
It is advisable my son (should)LEARN ebonics.

Black Man

Ebonics is NOT a language, simply a dialect of English. It has NO place in formal education, even as an elective. When one learns a language, French for example, you are taught proper French - not a dialect of it. What's next? How about l33t in our schools? R0m30 4nd Jul13t anyone?

luke bobsmit

i am in secondary school and would know about this. It should not be taught because the time used to teach Ebonics could be used to learn more useful subjects such as mathmatics ans science. speaking is only a form of communication and there are other ways to say what you have to say! :)


Ok, first of all, just to say this again...Ebonics is not a language. It is a dialect of English. I am a teacher and for those of you that do not know, the retention rate for teachers is about 3 years. We have so much on our plate. We are mentors, counselors, instructors and parental figures to children. We are forced to teach to standardized tests, only to keep up with countries like Japan and China. I personally believe that standardized tests do not actually measure a child's achievement acturately. I have digressed, but my point is that if you make teachers learn ebonic for the sake of teaching a few children that actually speak it, our nation will not only lose new teachers, but quite possibly older ones as well. Think about a job interview down the line. With a large company chose the person who speaks well to represent their company or the one who speaks Ebonics. I think we all know the answer to that one.


Ever seen Idiocrasy


Ebonics is the new deal PEOPLE GET WITH THE PROGRAM HOW will WE the people LEARN NEW STUFF IF WE CANT realize what we are saying and learn FROM IT BITCHES


I don't think people should teach Ebonics in school, because it makes people seem uneducated when they use Ebonics. It makes people seem illiterate, and it means tey don't have other choice of words.


If it is OK for kids to learn ebonics, then they should also teach southern dialect in schools as well. A lot of people who speak "hillbilly" are often thought of as uneducated, too, but it is just as much a way of speaking for many southernersas ebonics is to many blacks..


The idea of language is to communicate ideas, To relate, and grow. A language with the evolution cycle of a flu virus would be unknown from one generation to the next. There is no reason anyone who has learned the basic phonetic sounds cannot speak english. Powerful ideas come from vast vocabularies and skilled grammar not from slang and profanity. The mind and the heart are judged by the lips. Ignorance has never given anyone power


As soon as I hear an individual speak ebonics, I put up a guard of "I'd better not say anything negative to this person or she will think I am a racist." I don't even hear what the person says because I am "trying not to judge" that person for making up pronunciations that I, somehow, am required to accept. If I began pronouncing "accept" as "expect" should I assume to be understood, too?


ebonics would be a good way to explain to students about their street slang and how it all got started


no it shouldnt be taught in schools. ebonics is not a language, nor will it ever be classified as one. When a person is speaking in ebonics, they sound ignorant. teaching ignorance would only show how american society is only worsening. have a great day (:

iesha nelson

ebonics should be a language. It's a creative way to speak just like any other language


What is there to be taught? To speak Ebonics all you have to do is never learn proper english


No. "Ebonics" is a lazy ignorant form of the english language. Do people actually get ahead in life using this language, no. They just sound like straight up trash.


Ebonics has its merits, but should be taught, if anywhere, in places of higher education, not the public school system.


I say no. Its ignorant, and lazy to speak using ebonics. It is just a product of poor education.


Naw ya'll cee I fink dat ebonix wud be gud fer ouh chillen to lern is skool, so dat if dey ax sum guy on da cohneh in souf cennral, den dey ken get the way on dah rohd to find dem sum gud places to eat or sumfin. it wud aso be upliffin to da affican amercan peeples so dat dey now dat dey make a valabl contrabuton to socite. evrybody speek it anywy, so wy not?

Kenneth Howard

No. At my former high school, my English teacher would call out students who dared speak ebonics in her classroom and read their overall grade out loud. There was a trend; many of the individuals who spoke ebonics were getting D's and E's in standard english. Do we really need to promote poor speech in lieu of proper English? And seriously, if poor speech was a part of culture, I would distance myself from it immediately. The only reason it can be considered a part of African American culture is because many such individuals could not pursue higher education until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which "encouraged" desegregation of public schools (as well as many other steps, but I'm only concerned with Title IV for now). Now, seeing as how everyone has access to the same education, why are so many individuals not taking advantage of said education and not learning to speak properly?


I think Ebonics, or "African American English," should be used as a way to teach fluency in Standard English. Speakers of AAE should be treated as bilingual speakers. AAE has syntax, phonological, and grammatical rules that are universally consistent with languages all around the world. Yes, it is a cultural practice but also a completely legitimate language as proven by many linguists.


I don't think that ebonics should be taught in school because some students have enough trouble with learning english correctly already. If you throw in another "dialect" of english it will only confuse them further. IF ebonics does make it's way into our schools then it should only be offered as an elective for those who can keep the two forms correct.


I speak ebonics and I do realize that it isn't proper English but it is part of my culture and personally I think it shows how ignorant americans are that are so against the culture of another race. Last time I checked I could've swore that Amrica was suppose to be culturally diverse and if that's the case then everybody should be accepting of the way others talk. When I talk to people who speak proper english I dont assume they're smart because I've met several people who spoke proper English and they were dumb as bricks...and for yall dumb asses who say its just an ignorant way of speaking english you sound dumb maybe if yall crackers would've gave us respect and treated us like people instead of property we wouldn't hate yall bastards as much as we do


we should not just take it as a language .it's also a culture.maybe we can give the choice to the students.


People are already getting more stupid as time goes passes on their own, I don't see why we should speed up the process with a moronic bastardization of the English language.

arizona mildman

Ebonics is not a language just because a handful of black people at one time in histroy declared it so. It is street slang. If it were a language it would have a book that one can learn from. Street slang changes. Casion, for instance, is used by people in New Orleans, we aren't going to try to change the system to make it a prerequisite. If this is accepted, any deviation of English would be considered a language. It is constantly changing so one can't "learn" if. And one never sees a help wanted poster, "must speak ebonics".

Joe Knight

Sure it should, if you want to continue to be considered lowlife fools. Our language is English, learn it!


No it shouldn't be taught in school.
It is not even a language,


They definitely shouldn't teach dis here in skoo. Only uneducated peeps speak dis here. w0rd!

Doris Singh

iIs not a proper form of english Its street thug


I would be pissed if this was offered to my children in there school. Im black and was raised in the "hood" and I speak plain English. Ive found from my life experiance that people who speak ebonics, know how to speak w/ out the dialect they just choose not too. I admit when I was growing up and was less mature, I used it too alot. Now that I have my own children and have a respectable job and have matured I do not feel the need to make myself appear "gangsta". I just dont understand why anyone would want there children to learn a language which the majority of the "language" is referring to or associated w/ dagrating women, drugs, shooting people, or just simply changing a preexisting word's meaning and distorting it a little. I think that the only people who could possibly want there children to learn such a language are people who dont care if there children move up in the world, and maybe would like for them to be a successful drug dealer or pimp, becuase that is the only occupation in which it would be useful.


...and another thing. To the people who said that "the only people who voted no are just afraid of a multi cultural society" well Im am black and proud of it. Actually I am a perfect combination of black and white just like our president, and I love to learn about AUTHENTIC African culture. Not the taco bell version of it. And learning a second language, I mean come on. Imagine if you worked at I dont know, Walmart, anywhere that there are people of all races. You are a cashier and are speaking to a white person who is checking out in perfectly plain English, but you see a black person who obviously uses the "black dialect" and you suddenly address him/her like "wassup ma nigga....dat all you gettin....aight holla". I mean, I dont think anyone is going to be impressed w/ your "second laguage" much less the person you spoke it to.


I think they should not because most people still think Black English is Ebonics and it is not. Thank you.


I feel that if we begin teaching our children to speak ebonics not only would we let them down, in the future, but we would just make sound like idiots. How people talk to their friends is one thing, but I personally don't want my son to sound like that, and I won't hire your's if they sound like that either. This is the reason I voted for Obama and not Jesse Jackson years before, because he sounds like an idiot, Obama sounds like a genious. Would you want Obama to go to the UN sounding like a thug. How many more interpreters would we have to hire??????
Louis Farrakan- Speak wise or sound ignorant.


you can learn it from your friends.
you should be learning proper English in school


They should be taught normal and good English, instead of trying to sound like idiots all the time!! teachers in my school even have to correct those who obviously cant talk right... I am only about to be in fifth grade and I even have to correct them.


Tey shouldn't teach skudspeak in schools cuz it makes you sound like a skud. Any time a yellow walks by me with or without orange shoes, i straighten and speak proper. But if i drop a group, of course i'm gonna use monsterspeak. It makes you sound like fearsom beast. Damn the skurks and skwrads that try to throw skudspeak at me, they know how to speak proper, they just do that grease thier palms, and I ain't about to let em. If you wanna be an orange shoe, learn to speak proper, cuz if you don't everyone will think yous a skud, and will kek at you. Peazy.

(BTW, this is a dialect of speaking used by a small minority in southern california. I speak it and i will not teach it to my kids, i would rather use that time to teach them something that will make them successful. A "real" language like Japanese will look good on a resume, and I want my kids to be happy, not poor.)


i think ebonics should be recognized but not taught. what i mean is it should be recognized in historyor cultural classes but not taught as a language. its a dialect of the english language. it is also limiting the knowledge of a child. imagine someone walking into a job interview using words like finna. this dialect makes people sound uneducated and silly. they are nonsense words. imagine people like out president using this language...i dont think soo


I have a child in the public school system. If they teach ebonics in public school, I'll jerk my child out of the system so fast it will make your head spin.


Obviously not, it's not even a language, just learn it from your friends. They don't teach Cockney in schools, or Occitain. These are two dialects that evolved with a culture. It also makes you sound uneducated.


- i voted "no" ebonics should NOT be taught in schools . ebonics was the worst era that happen to ppl in urban areas . the whole country is passing america by because of ignorant ideas like this. ebonics didnt work out in the end before and it wont work now . im in the 10th grade now and i can see that the generations that was taught it has been affected by it badly . i refuse to be apart of another statistic . i will succeed .


i think they should have the right to talk and learn the language they grew up around, it's like kicking someone out of the house they own.


Absolutely not. My mother's first language was Italian, and when she went to school, everything was taught in...standard English. And guess what, she was fluent in it in no time. Blacks, Russian immigrant, Hispanics etc. should all be taught standard English. I am so sick of the whining from people who don't want to learn and then complain about then end results.


Why not if you were to teach lets say an Italian English you would teach him in Italian or vice-versa


You do not have to accept the culture to learn the languauge if I learn Ebonocs I will be able to speak 3 languauges Latin,English and AAVE. It is an English creole languauge with African and English and Dixie and American influences. It was used as early as 1692 and in 1996 became it's own languauge like Afrikaans those of you who disagree


No. There is no standard for Ebonics. The dialect changes drastically like fashion does ("modern day" ebonics.) You would never use this language in anything but rap music or poetry.
"They bitches be fine."
"Why you axing me bout it."
There's a flow to this dialect that throws off any definition.

Anyone with an understanding of English can use the internet and watch tv to learn Ebonics anyway, if they had the interest. No use paying money for it.

Should we be teaching Chinese English "Chinglish" in school too? That would be more useful where I live - Vancouver Canada.


On a side note, personally it would be hilarious to see anyone other than that of African descent to try to teach this slang



I voted " yes" because i belive that just like the civil rights movement African American Vernacular English is black history all the same and should be included in the learning process like any other languge.


Well as a parent i think we as individuals should have that right about what our children are to be taught. It should be an elective if anything. Ebonics is a cultural dialect and is also how uneducated african americans spoke before being educated so why should our children be forced to go backwards? It should be a history lesson. I mean no offense to anyone but this is just another stepping stone of our parental rights being taken away. I for one am not buying it! Sorry


No, "Ebonics" should not be used anywhere else other than the street corners that it was made on.


Imagine your kid going on a job interview and answering questions to the human resources department in ebonics. Good luck getting that job. It doesn't happen, ever.


The only times that ebonics should be taught is in areas like social services where individuals need to be able to understand and communicate to meet the needs of children who need help. There are other jobs that require the teachings of ebonics but it is DEFINITELY more of a specialized class that is needed only for certain positions.

he who must not be named

I voted for no as my answer because, teaching ebonics to our next generation would be making our speech imcomprehensible to other nations. If every American spoke in ebonics then other countries would scorn upon us. Also Ethiopians do not speak in ebonics like other blacks.

biggie yo

I was so proud of my so you no one els cu represent he nocked the hoock off that spelling b yo it was off the chain, none of those kiidy kids got nutn on us he spell edamucate and it dats wats up yo and dats why ebonics hee to stay in schoo yo peece


All children that attend school learn the same words and pronunciation of those words. Worse are college educated kids who somehow graduate and still speak ebonics. To me, it's nothing more than a sheer laziness to learn and/or having that special desire to set themselves apart and look stupid on purpose.


I think it is pretty pathetic that slang is now considered a language...You can't teach the standards of english and grammer then go on to teaching students slang. It is a terrible resort for students not learning the English language!!!


There is no such language as Ebonics. It is a ridiculous made up term. Using colloquial speech and slang words that will change with each passing generation does not a language make. Do we term southern and norther dialects in the US as a separate language? No!

Derrick Pirkey

Yeah, this is a great idea if you are a racist Democrat who wants to appear sympathetic while at the same time destroying black communities and their chance for success. If this is ever accepted the Democrats will label anyone who expects blacks to learn proper English a racist while simultaneously ensuring that within a single generation blacks will be unable to rise out of poverty. Surely I am not the only one who sees this for what it is.

Billy Clinton

The idiocracy is here to stay... and it will never go away as long as this kind of crap is allowed. I am ashamed to be an American.

Matt C.

Ebonics has no place in formal education. Writing that it can be taught as an elective assumes that Ebonics is a form of legitimate language; it isn't. Ebonics is a low-level dialect that has unfortunately become an acceptable dialect in parts of the English-speaking world. It has, tragically, replaced standard English in a few areas.
To write that it has "already been qualified by linguists as a genuine, authentic language/dialect," as Brian wrote, is incorrect; no reputable linguist has done so, and a dialect is, by definition, not a language. A dialect is a corruption of a language (which is a description that fits Ebonics).
The use of Ebonics should not be encouraged anywhere, including in the home where children might be in danger of thinking it is proper -- but especially in an educational setting, where its use might replace standard English.
To write that Ebonics is "part of African-American culture" is an insult to black Americans who do not use Ebonics, but who speak standard English.
Ebonics is a low, inaccurate dialect at best; and a low corruption of wide-spread communication at worst.


As a teacher, I understand that some people come from families and cultures that speak dialects. But If I am graded on what I teach the students and I am given a grade should I not teach what is politically correct and on the test. Should we as a nation create a accepted language for all cultures? If so what should I teach my students? If I went to their country it would be my responsibility to learn their language. We have rules in English to clarify the meaning of sentences and words. We cant change them for everyone so they should be taught as they always have been.


No, because as soon as you make rules standardizing it they'll stop speaking following the rules.


Ebonics is nothing more than a corruption of a real language.
It is not a useful tool like a legitimate language would be. It promotes degeneracy and limits the capacity of students to improve, should they choose to focus on it/not escape from it.

To put it in terms that the people supporting Ebonics will understand:



No, it should be not taught in schools as English is in America, but if anything it could be offered us as a elective in the same way Spanish and other non-English languages are.


It's a dialect????

I've traveled to Italy where there are many dialects. Blacks there speak the local dialect just like everyone else. They are educated and carry themselves with pride. They don't have "black speak."

In America, yes, we have dialects too, southern, yankee, etc. Someone from New England, Texas, and California have their own way of speaking and slang.

But why is it, here in America, that the blacks just sound uneducated and backwards. A dialect is one thing, but horrific grammar and incorrect pronunciation of words is something entirely different. I grew up in a city with many diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds. I was in school with children of diverse cultures and backgrounds too. There were Irish, Russian, Cuban, Italian, Jamaican, etc. We were all taught the same subjects and were held to high standards. We ALL sounded the same - you couldn't tell who was black, white, hispanic, mixed - whatever. All taught the same English language, spelling, sentence structure, grammar, and pronunciations.

I've met elderly blacks who spoke very eloquently, perfect english, perfect pronunciation, perfect grammar - because their parents fought for freedom and education, and they were very proud of it! It seems that everyone my age and younger could care less and pride themselves on sounding uneducated and backwards. WHY? Of course, this isn't limited to blacks. I see this all across the board. Why do some Americans deliberately want to sound stupid?

My Mom worked so hard so I could go to the best school she could afford so I would get a better education than she had. She endured WWII while growing up and couldn't get the education she wanted. She was very proud of my education and that I was bilingual.

I drives me nuts when I hear "axed" instead of "asked." I suppose all the "English" I learned was all for naught.


Will Ebonics ever be of any help for business? Cuz ive never heard anyone self respecting person in any office ever using this kinda tone. Ebonics is a dialect, not a language, there is a huge difference.


And how would you read a contract? a Newspaper or web site? it would permanently disable an entire segment of our population in re: to good jobs and the ability to communicate with others....


One can not expected to be competitive in today's world with Ebonics. It reeks of poor education.


No. I don't think it should be taught in school. School is meant to prepare all students for their future. A person speaking ebonics as an adult will be at a disadvantage. Just as you would correct wrong sentence structure or a wrong math equation.

Scot Smith

Ebonics originated from Africa where civilization first evolved. It is related, therefore, to the first formation of human language In this sense, it is the mother of all languages. It is the highest form of English.

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