Ebonics In The Classroom Analysis

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On December 18, 1996, the Governing Board of the Oakland Unified School District adopted a resolution on the issue of Ebonics as it pertains to underachieving African American youth in that city's public schools (Wright.) Despite this, there is still a lack of unity in the classroom. School systems are still constantly seeking a resolution that will support the unification and cooperation of all young people in the classroom. In Oakland specifically, a question of controversy was brought up. It pertains to whether or not Ebonics, the primary African American language, should be taught in the classroom as the dominating language. Although I believe that Ebonics should not be used as a primary language in the classroom, I do hold the position…show more content…
Asante states that ‘Afrocentric ideas are based on multicultural education’ (Asante, The Afrocentric Idea in Education.) With that being said, Afrocentricity can not exist without embedding the idea and acknowledgment of multiculturalism in the classroom. By not involving the use of Ebonics in the everyday classroom setting, we give African Americans no opportunity to be educated regarding their background and history of language. African-Americans have been born into and continue to live in linguistic environments that are different from the Euro-American speaking population. African-American people and their children are from home environments in which a language other than the English language is dominant. Through communication and language, they should be able to shed light on their culture in their everyday…show more content…
People discourage this idea because they view Ebonics as an improper, incorrect form of Standard American English. However, the use of back and forth language from Ebonics to Standard American English is called Code switching (Flowers.) Code switching is defined as ‘the use of two or more linguistic varieties in the same conversation or interaction.’ Many assume if a student with an African American background is exposed to Ebonics in the classroom, they will start to use it permanently, creating an even bigger divide than what exists presently. However, Flowers believes that literacy must be examined within the framework of cultural practice, and language systems must be the underlying premise of cultural practice. Many have been known to code switch because using Black English with other blacks helps participants identify themselves with the African American culture while using Standard American English helps them to feel a part of American culture. A study in the LA school system Academic English Mastering. The instructor uses a game of jeopardy to teach his 5th grade class how to decipher the difference and translate their native language into standard American English (McGarrity.) In this way, Ebonics is not belittled, but it is acknowledged and
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