A Non-standard Approach to Standard English

Date
1988
Authors
Sato, Charlene
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Abstract
This paper proposes a nonstandard approach to standard English as a second dialect (SESD). It rejects assimilationist ideology as a way of legitimizing the educational experience of language minority groups, advocating instead a pluralist position which views the acquisition of standard English by native speakers of other varieties as "additive bidialectalism" rather than remediation. The paper begins by clarifying "dialect," "creole" and "standard" as necessary background to a discussion of the ideology of linguistic prescriptivism. Research in two areas is then reviewed: (a) studies examining dialectal differences and their influence on cross-dialectal communication, and (b) sociolinguistic research on classroom participation structures involving language minority students. It is concluded that dialectal differences are not trivial, and that culturally appropriate modifications to classroom discourse patterns, such as those implemented in a program for Hawaii Creole English-speaking children, are useful models for other SESD settings.
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