chapter  9
10 Pages

African American Language and Literacy

Tremendous misunderstanding still surrounds issues of language and literacy among African Americans. This chapter describes the ways that the situation of African Americans differs from that of other immigrants to the United States and highlights the consequences of those differences for the literacy skills development of African American students. It then describes the ways that African American vernacular English differs from standard English and the implications of these dif­ ferences for literacy development. Finally, it suggests ways that we can adopt a pedagogy that is mindful of the linguistic skills students bring to school at the same time that it helps them move toward achievement of advanced literacy.