Sociology of Education the Purpose Term Paper

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For instance, "some speakers may engage in overlap, speaking while someone else is taking a turn-at-talk. For some linguistic groups, this discourse behavior can be interpreted as a signal of engagement and involvement; however, other speakers may view it as an interruption and imposition on their speaking rights. Teachers can use the Record-View-Transcribe-Analyze technique to study cross-cultural interactions in their classrooms, helping students identify different communication strategies and their potential for miscommunication." (Demo, 2001)

According to the work "Vernacular Dialects in U.S. Schools," "Children from different backgrounds come to school speaking a wide variety of dialects." (Christian, 1997) the problem according to Christian (1997) is in the fact that, "One central issue in this controversy is whether mastery and use of a standard dialect should be required in schools. Some people consider such a requirement to be discriminatory, because it places an extra burden on certain students. Others argue that it is a responsibility of the education system to teach a standard dialect to broaden students' skills and opportunities." Differences in dialect may very well impact the quality of the provision of education both academically and socially. (Labov, 1995) the consequences of coming form a dialect group which is different from the 'norm' are felt socially by those students. However, the biggest impact may come from attitudes of "teachers, school personnel, and other students [and] can have a tremendous impact on the education process." (Christian, 1997) Unfortunately these students are often "tracked with lower achievers or even placed in special education classes because of their vernacular speech patterns." (Christian, 1997)

The following suggestions for classroom instructional practices are made by Christian (1997):

Instruction in Standard English should be coupled with information about the nature of dialect diversity. By giving students information about various dialects, including their own, teachers can demonstrate the integrity of all dialects. This approach clarifies the relationship between standard and vernacular dialects, underscoring the social values associated with each and the practical reasons for learning the standard dialect.

Teachers and materials developers need a clear understanding of the systematic differences between standard and vernacular dialects in order to help students learn Standard English.

The dialect of spoken Standard English that is taught should reflect the language norms of the community. The goal of instruction should be to learn the standard variety of the local community, not some formal dialect of English that is not actually used in the area. Regional standards are particularly relevant in the case of pronunciation features.

Language instruction should include norms of language use, along with Standard English structures. Speaking a standard dialect includes the use of particular conversational styles as well as particular language forms. For example, using Standard English in a business telephone conversation does not involve simply using standard grammar and pronunciation. It also involves other conventions, such as asking the caller to "hold" if an interruption is called for, or performing certain closing routines before hanging up.


It is clear that teachers must understand that linguistic differences do not classify a student as one requiring special education and that classroom instructional practices must be adapted to the growing needs expressed in the diversity of classrooms in contemporary times. Linguistic differences exist on social, cultural and ethnic levels as well as the simple differences expressed between varying types of familial upbringing within the community. This is an area of education that requires more study and experiential knowledge and is certainly an area of education that will be more emphasized in the future that is clearly one that must embrace differences expressed in classroom diversity.

Works Cited

Literacy, Education and Social Development, (1997) Confintea, Hamburg 1997 UNESCO Institute for Education Fifth International Conference on adult Education (CONFINTEA V) held 3in Hamburg, 1997. 3c Social Development

Park, Eunjin and King, Kendall CAL Digest: Cultural Diversity and Language Socialization in the Early Years (2003) December EDO-FL-03-13

Demo, Douglas a. (2001) Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers CAL Journal September 2001

Schiffrin, D. (1994). Approaches…[continue]

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