Teaching "Correct" English: Codeswitching Between Standard American and Vernacular English

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Bishop, Kaia-Marie
thesis / dissertation description
Prevalent methods for teaching the grammar of the English language use the traditional approach of correcting vernacular English to Standard American English (SAE). But is this the best practice? Despite this approach, students still struggle with grammar. It is believed that the direct approach guides students towards a "better" English, but SAE is neither better nor worse than vernacular English. Dialects of English are merely different ways to speak and each have appropriate uses. Research suggests that in order to better teach English, we must lead students to compare SAE and vernacular English. However, SAE is valuable our society, so students should still learn it. However, they must also learn about linguistic prejudices, the nature of language changes, and codeswitching.