Essay about Teaching Standard English in Urban Schools

Essay about Teaching Standard English in Urban Schools

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How Does an Educator Teach Standard English in Urban Schools, and is it Necessary?


For the first section of my Inquiry Article, I posed the question: "How Does an Educator Teach Standard English in Urban Schools, and is it Necessary? I chose this question because I plan to teach in an urban school district, and I know urban students often have a difficult time learning to speak Standard English. I also know that speaking non Standard English can affect a student's acceptance and advancement in society. However, while completing my pre-teaching field experience, I did not have the opportunity to put my theory of teaching Standard English into practice. Instead, I was able to help students understand first, the immigration experience; second, the idea of language, and how difficult it is to learn a secondary discourse; and finally, why many individuals use dialects that differ from that of Standard English. I taught a two-day immigration and speech lesson that required students to become immigrants and learn a new language, and helping students understand another student's perspective was just as intriguing and rewarding as teaching students to speak standard English.

I began my lesson by explaining to students that they have just entered a new country, and that they must assimilate accordingly. I gave each student a passport, which informed them of their social class (working or lower class), and I gave them a few words from the new language that they must learn. I handed out currency according to social class, and with this currency, students were allowed to buy language forms if they could afford them. Students had to fill out registration forms that asked questions like, "What do you have to declare?; and Where do you ...


... middle of paper ...


...h fluently.

The students really enjoyed this activity because they were able to hear discussion about dialect and slang words that they currently use. Teaching this activity had to be the most rewarding because I saw the look of confusion change to understanding on the faces of so many students. One student said to me after class, "I always wondered why my grandmother speaks so different, and uses words that I never heard of. Tonight I will go home and ask her about it." That made me feel like I helped students think about an issue that they may have never thought of, and it was great! I must admit that I was a little skeptical of the way this lesson would turn out because the first day I had some difficulty. But after seeing my students engaged and excited about a lesson that I created, I knew that I would one day be one of the "great" teachers that I idolize.

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