Incorporating African American Vernacular English in Education: Fostering Linguistic Diversity Within Mississippi K-12 Classrooms

Eilers, Alyssa (2019) Incorporating African American Vernacular English in Education: Fostering Linguistic Diversity Within Mississippi K-12 Classrooms. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Rosemary Oliphant-Ingham from School of Education, The University of Mississippi.

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In the United States, the language of education is American English; although everyone speaks a dialect, the institution of education values a standard, which devalues nonstandard varieties of English like African American Vernacular English (AAVE). Because language is intricately connected to identity, the way that AAVE is or is not included in classroom pedagogy points to the inclusion, or lack thereof, of students who speak vernaculars of English. Research shows that AAVE is related to Southern American English and exists proportionately in the south. Because Mississippi, a southern state, continuously ranks as one of the states with the lowest test scores, it is necessary to investigate how AAVE-speaking students, comprising nearly half of the student population, are integrated into a classroom that teaches to a standard. Additionally, since a standard is required, one must consider how to teach in a way that includes dialects of English but allows for student and teacher success in the classroom. How can Mississippi K-12 educators incorporate dialects, specifically AAVE, in their classrooms? Thus, the thesis presented will investigate prior research regarding the incorporation of AAVE in the classroom to build a teacher’s guide for Mississippi educators. To begin, the thesis will build a foundational knowledge of dialect features of AAVE and explain replacive and additive attitudes toward the dialect’s incorporation in the classroom from a linguistic standpoint to better understand how to guide teachers. Next, the thesis will explore the experiences of students who speak AAVE, as they hold an equal share of the classroom environment. The thesis will look at the linguistic approach to fostering dialectal diversity in the K-12 classroom, then investigate the classroom practices already in use to build upon for Mississippi educators. Finally, the thesis will culminate in the creation of a guide for educators in K-12 Mississippi classrooms. Through this research, the thesis aims to understand the previous research and suggest a potential model for education in Mississippi to better serve student AAVE speakers.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Eilers, Alyssa
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Linguistics
Thesis Advisor: Rosemary Oliphant-Ingham
Thesis Advisor's Department: School of Education
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
P Language and Literature > PE English
Depositing User: Alyssa Eilers
Date Deposited: 09 May 2019 18:30
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 15:32

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