Está en la página 1de 3

1

Questionnaire: African American Vernacular English


QUESTIONS
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.

What is the African American attitude to their dialect?


What are the differences found among EBONICS?
What was the teacher's aim at writing the book AX or ASK?
How long has he been teaching?
What level does he teach?
What is his attitude towards EBONICS/AAVE?
What is the aim of writing the book and why does he think it is important to help

students to improve their English?


H. What is his view about teachers towards correcting students English?
I. Why does he think this happens?
J. Do you agree with him? Do think there are situations in our country when/where
this happens? What kind of community do you think would require help in
improving their Spanish? Why? What would be your approach? Would you do what
many American teachers do or would you try to help them? If so, why?
ANSWERS
A. They do not find it wrong. Most parents do not even bother correct their cildren
either because they think the way they speak is correct or because they do not
realize it is wrong (not deviant or incorrect). However, the educational institution
does not want African American speakers to feel denigrated or looked down on
because of the way they speakafter all it is the way they have been brought up.
Some of them, such as rappers consider it a form of identity and sense of belonging
to African American culture and thus use it to sing.
B. The most noticeable features of AAVE are found in 1) Phonology: in consonant
clusters at the end of a word, usually one of them is dropped; the voiceless and
voiced dental fricatives are affricated until getting a resulting voiceless or voiced
alveolar stop. And 2) Grammar: ellipsis of the copula verb be; no subject-verb
agreement; double negatives; be done as a conditional perfect for hypothetical
future statements; and the habitual be.
C. He wanted to write a guide for African American speakers to speak better English.
He was also driven by the fact that many so-called professionals are not doing their
job, that is, correcting a persons grammar. In his point of view, it is African
American children the ones suffering the most.
Facultad de Educacin

LEII

Sociolinguistics

2
D. Hes been teaching for 15 years.
E. High school and College (English subject).
F. He does not seem to have a sociolinguistic point of view, so to him, AAVE is just a
deviant form of the English language, i.e. an incorrect way of speaking that has to
be swept off in order that African American children can learn to speak proper
English and be professionally successful.
G. He wanted to write the book; first to make AAVE speakers realize that they are not
speaking properly. Second, he also wants them to identify the mistakes they
commonly make so as to stop making them. He thinks it is important for students to
improve their English because they are missing great and important job
opportunities just because of the way they speak.
H. He thinks that it is teachers responsibility to take the matter into own hands. He
stresses the fact that they are the ones supposed to be in charge of correcting
students grammar. But, unfortunately, they do not seem to be successful at it or
doing it whatsoever, which really bothers him.
I. He suggests that perhaps some teachers do not even identify AAVE as a deviant or
incorrect form of English. So in their view, there is nothing to correct.
J. I partially agree with him on the fact that children and young people should aim at
more standard and professional variety of English, but only for academic or
professional purposes. He intensively criticizes AAVE by calling it a deviation of
the English language. This is where I dont agree. AAVE is just another variety or
dialect of the English language; some linguists even dare say that is just a language
with African substrate and English superstate, i.e. African-languages grammar and
English vocabulary. And as many other varieties of the English language, this shant
be frowned upon. I think the same accounts for Mexico. We have around 17
different dialectal regions each with their own set of particular features ranging
from phonology to lexicon and grammar. I think that in both caseswith AAVE and
Mexican Spanish dialectsthe emphasis should not be on making students aware
that they speak an incorrect version of the language, or a mere attempt to speak it
thats derogatory indeed. On the contrary, teachers should make students see that
they are capable of speaking both dialects by using the principles of
accommodation theory, namely, using the variety that best suits their needs
according the context. Language functions and reactions to it may vary significantly

Facultad de Educacin

LEII

Sociolinguistics

3
depending on the addressee. If students only develop their skills in the standard
variety in an attempt to become more professional and highly-educated, they have
the risk of not being able to communicate effectively with other speakers of the
same speech community. In my case, with Spanish, I would only make students
notice that the variant they are using and the prescribed by the official arbiter of the
Spanish language (RAE) differ from each other and should then use both fluently so
that they can communicative in a wider range of situations and contexts. I do not
want to tell them that the way they speak is wrong just because I am some kind of
self-righteous grammar-Nazi who loves correcting other peoples mistakes. I would
like them to know that their variety is unique and part of who they are, but at the
same time acknowledge that this variety might not be the required to access higher
education or better jobs.

Facultad de Educacin

LEII

Sociolinguistics