Assessing the Place of African American Vernacular English as a Dialect: Meriting Inclusion in the TESOL Classroom
AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleAssessing the Place of African American Vernacular English as a Dialect: Meriting Inclusion in the TESOL Classroom
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Previous literature has opened discussion as to whether African American Vernacular English (AAVE) is a valid dialect that should be included in formal English education, namely, in TESOL classrooms. This literature review was conducted in order to demonstrate the value of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) as a component of American English and culture. This review will outline multiple studies and a variety of research that supports the validity of AAVE as both a dialect and a necessary complement of Standard American English. There are multiple elements that serve as crucial pieces in this review.
First, research will examine the racialization of AAVE and its history to support its validity and value as a dialect and cultural component of American English. It will also outline the connection between linguistic prescriptivism and language-based racism that permeate American language, culture, and society. Next, it will outline how AAVE affects and complements Standard American English (SAE) through several studies like Danika Johnson’s (2013) study on the impact of AAVE on ELL student writing. This section also looks at the linguistic elements that separate AAVE as a unique component of SAE, rather than a completely isolated dialect. Finally, this review will examine the benefits of including AAVE as part of the TESOL curriculum and how it could be implemented effectively in a TESOL classroom (Kubota and Lin, 2006).
As the political culture and climate of the United States continues to change, cultural and linguistic practices represent a major part of the path toward inclusion. The existing path includes linguistic bias and does not recognize AAVE as a crucial part of American language and culture. To reframe the new direction of American English language teaching and learning, this unique dialect should be included on that path.