[R-0046] S4. Instructional Planning

Citation: Cheatham, G. A., Armstrong, J., & Milagros Santos, R. (2009). “Yall listenin?” Accessing children’s dialects in preschool. Young Exceptional Children, 12(4), 2-14.

Abstract: Children come to school with the language of their families and communities. For many children, this means that they speak a nonstandard dialect, an English dialect not used as the primary means of instruction in schools. Examples of dialects include African American English (AAE; i.e., Ebonics), Hawaiian Creole, Hispanic English, and Southern Mountain English as well as what is considered Standard American English (SAE). Despite the language diversity children bring to school, those who speak nonstandard dialects are often penalized for not speaking schools’ accepted linguistic code. Often these children are given fewer learning opportunities and are inappropriately assessed and referred for special education placements.

Integration: In this article, the authors take a culturally and linguistically responsive position to children’s nonstandard dialects. They discuss characteristics of dialects and educational implications of nonstandard dialect use and offer recommendations for appropriate instruction, assessment, and program policy. (Contains 3 tables.)

Content Focus: Inclusion; Language and Literacy Experiences

Notes: This article is useful for educators who work with ELL.