Tuesday, July 19, 2005

APPALONICS

UPDATE:

Check out the Day by Day cartoon. Uncannily, it's an echo of what I was just thinking - that by encouraging use of a language that is not spoken by the majority of the country, advocates of Ebonics may be inadvertantly preparing Black children for careers as Codetalkers.
A Face Made 4 Radio, A Voice Made 4 the Internet picks up the story from the San Bernadino Sun News on Ebonics.
Mary Texeira, a sociology professor at Cal State San Bernardino, commended the San Bernardino Board of Education for approving the policy in June.

Texeira suggested that including Ebonics in the program would be beneficial for students. Ebonics, a dialect of American English that is spoken by many blacks throughout the country, was recognized as a separate language in 1996 by the Oakland school board.

"Ebonics is a different language, it's not slang as many believe,' Texeira said. "For many of these students Ebonics is their language, and it should be considered a foreign language. These students should be taught like other students who speak a foreign language.'

Texeira urged people not be quick to judge the new program as socially exclusive. She said people need to be open to the program.

"Everybody has prejudices, but we must all learn to control that behavior,' Texeira said. She said a child's self confidence is tied to his or her cultural identity.

You know what this is about, don't you? MONEY. Any district that has non-English-speaking students gets more money to educate those students.

Well, I hate to inform you, but using a dialect doesn't mean your language is different enough to be considered "foreign". Hillbillies have been using their unique dialect for generations, but they haven't declared it "Appalonics". Maybe they should. That might stop people from other regions who speak English-as-she-should-be-spoken (like New York, New Jersey, or Texas) from ridiculing their speech.



I was just watching (again) October Sky this weekend. It reminded me of my dad, who was a science fiction fan in the 30's and 40's. But, he wasn't fortunate enough to have an influence like the enthusiastic teacher Miss Riley (Laura Dern of the film). Homer Hickham, the rocket scientist whose life is the basis of the book, didn't need the excuse of Appalonics to succeed. Neither do the San Bernadino students need Ebonics.

1 comment:

MaxedOutMama said...

Very, very well put. The hispanics in this country really got messed over by the full-blown ESL programs. Many graduated from high school illiterate in English. The idea that black children are incapable of learning standard English is a smear, and the practical effects upon their future careers can be terrible. Speaking and writing standard English is a prerequisite for most good jobs or satisfying careers.

When I was young, one of the fads was teaching kids to read and write in grammar school using a phonetic spelling. Those kids never did learn to spell correctly, and they were acutely noticeable in high school. Learned dyslexia was their curse.