african american english and culture n.
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  3. ** • Former student Sharee McCoy: • educated family in Elk Grove; she was called an N--- • N--- was written in chalk in front of her house • Mark’s friend Jack (1/4 AA, ¾ White) harassed and bullied in junior high for being an N----

  4. Former student Zenzele Shakir:

  5. **AAs have a strong work and family ethic • Unfortunately, there still remains an educational and income gap between AAs and other ethnic groups • Poverty continues to be an issue for many AA children

  6. Today…

  7. Many African Americans…** • Are deeply religious • The church plays a major role in their lives • AAs most likely to report a religious affiliation • Many hours a week may be spent at church, including all day Sunday • When we work with elderly AAs especially, it can be helpful to include the pastor, church members, friends from Bible study etc.

  8. II. EDUCATION AND LITERACY** • AA families value education and literacy; it is important to them that their children work hard and do well in school. College may be another story. • “Latasha N.” graduating from our program with her B.S.—friends would not attend graduation; family didn’t understand importance • Most teachers are White women; there may be some cultural differences between them and AA children, especially males

  9. Lautrell S., recent student:

  10. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2012: ** • People with a Bachelor’s degree make 84% more $$ over a lifetime than high school graduates • Translation: college graduate makes $2.3 million over a lifetime; high school graduate makes $1.3 million

  11. Statistics show: ** • The high school graduation rate for African Americans has increased in the last few years • In 2011, for young adults with Master’s degrees, Asians earning $73,000 a year; African Americans earned $50,000 a year (National Center for Education Statistics, 2013)

  12. It is important to address educational discrepancies which affect AA children** • One way to do this is to provide early intervention (e.g., Head Start, good preschool programs) • If AA students use African American English (AAE), there may be issues with reading, writing, and spelling in mainstream English

  13. We have to be aware of…*** • The impact of use of AAE in mainstream schools where MAE is the language spoken

  14. Worldwide dialects & languages of business:** • Philippines: Odionganon—TAGALOG • Germany—Schweitzer Deutsch, HOCH DEUTSCH • Arab nations—colloquial Arabic, STANDARD/CLASSICAL ARABIC—Koran • China—Taishanese, MANDARIN • U.S.—African American English, MAINSTREAM AMERICAN ENGLISH

  15. A very interesting research study about AAE and school performance** • Craig, Zhang, Hensel, & Quinn (2009; Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research) “African American English-speaking Students: An examination of the relationship between dialect shifting and reading outcomes”

  16. Questions the authors asked:

  17. Ivy, L.J., & Masterson, J.J. (2011 January) A comparison of oral and written English styles in African American students at different stages of writing development. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 42, 31-40.** • Studied use of oral and written AAE in 3rd and 8th graders • Question: did kids use AAE less as they got older?

  18. ASHA 2011 Johnson et al., Impact of Dialect Use on Student Writing** • They studied 141 2nd-4th graders at two Title 1 elementary schools in Northeast Florida • 95% of the children were eligible for free/reduced lunch (welfare) • They got written language samples from these students

  19. Findings of the study:

  20. Recent research (discussed in the book) concludes:

  21. III. HEALTH CARE AND DISABILITIES** • A major problem for many AAs is lack of health insurance • AA babies are more likely than babies from other races to be premature and to die from nutritional deficiency • Older adults who have neurological disorders may have difficulty getting therapy

  22. Low-SES African American children are susceptible to:

  23. If children are diagnosed with disabilities…** • Many AA families are accepting • They tend to have intergenerational support as well as strong religious beliefs

  24. IV. FAMILY LIFE** • Extended family members are very important in AA culture • Although many homes are headed by single women, there is intergenerational support. Grandmas are often very involved in ch raising. • Child-raising styles in AA families tend to be more authoritative than in other groups; may employ ↑use of corporal punishment

  25. Lautrell S. (former student) shared with the class:** Lots of physical punishment—belt—last spanking at age 13 For punishment, when Lautrellws 16, her mom took her bedroom door off its hinges Lautrell’s brother was born when their mom was 15; at 42 years, she is a grandma Lautrell’s friends—”How dare you speak White?” (she has to codeswitch)


  27. VI. AFRICAN AMERICAN ENGLISH** • Use of AAE is impacted by many factors: SES, education, geographic location, and others • AAE is NOT a substandard form of Mainstream American English (MAE) • It is rule-governed and predictable

  28. VII. ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT CONSIDERATIONS** • We have to be extremely careful when we assess the articulation and language skills of AAE-speaking students • Many tests are biased • Language samples are encouraged; picture description can be especially effective • AA boys are overdiagnosed with ADHD—they tend to be quite physically active

  29. For the test, please be very familiar with…


  31. Help students learn the difference…

  32. Youtube video Dr. Noma LeMoine

  33. Lovelace & Stewart (2009 May issue of American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology) “Effects of Robust Vocabulary Instruction and Multicultural Text on the Development of Word Knowledge Among African American Children”** • The subjects were 2nd grade AA children who had below average vocabulary skills • They used storybooks to contextualize new words that the subjects were learning

  34. Procedures for teaching new words in a “robust” way:

  35. The study found that:

  36. Lovelace and Stewart 2009 suggested that SLPs can:

  37. Remember Larry P. vs Riles:** • Began in 1971 • AA parents in San Francisco filed in federal court • They claimed that their children were wrongly placed in the EMR (Educable Mentally Retarded) class

  38. The parents claimed that…** • IQ tests were culturally biased and discriminatory • AA students were disproportionately represented in EMR classes • AA = 28.5% in gen ed; 66% in EMR

  39. Judge Robert Peckham: SFUSD prohibited from using IQ tests (or their substantial equivalent) to place AA students in EMR classes** • Decision upheld on appeal in 1984 • In 1984, the court expanded the ruling for all of CA by banning use of IQ testing for all AA students for any special ed purpose

  40. So, what does this mean for us?

  41. The CA Diagnostic Center 2010 said that possible OK tests might be…** • CELF-4 (Clinical Evaluation of Lang. Fundamentals) • Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation (DELV) • Preschool Language Scale-4 (PLS-4) • Comprehensive Test of Spoken Language (CASL)