This qualitative study explored how the teacher’s knowledge of African American English (AAE) influenced the interactions and perceptions teachers had about AAE speaking students. African American English is a rule based language system spoken by over 80 percent of African Americans (Charity Hudley & Mallison, 2011; Smitherman, 1977). Despite this statistic AAE is not classified as a second language and is generally not recognized in most U.S. Schools. Programs such as the Academic English Mastery Program (AEMP) classify those speakers of AAE and other languages that are generally referred to as English Only (EO) as Standard English Learner (SEL). This study looked at knowledge of AAE, perceptions demonstrated through interactions with students and strategies teachers used while working with primarily African American middle school students. The researcher observed classrooms, attempted to analyze lesson plans, and conducted teacher interviews. Findings showed that teachers may have known about AAE but most did not explore learning about the language or strategies to work with AAE speaking students despite having classes that were attended by mostly AAE- speaking students. This research also showed that even when teachers felt competent in using AEMP strategies lack of respect for students and understanding of African American culture stifled the teacher’s effectiveness.
|Advisor:||Rousseau, Sylvia G.|
|Commitee:||LeMoine, Noma, Venegas, Kristan|
|School:||University of Southern California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational sociology, Language|
|Keywords:||Academic, African, Discourse, English, Exclusion|
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