Teaching Mainstream American to kids whose first language is AAVE without being condescending. Very cute video and great program (in Los Angeles).
Really interesting - and it looks like the idea of AAVE being a language whose rules are being recognized and valued within the school system is starting to take hold, which is pretty awesome. Plus I like how upfront they are about how this is a part of combating the racism and racist judgments kids who speak AAVE will face.
It’s fantastic to see this in schools, and I definitely worked with a program similar to this when I was a tutor in college, it’d be great if there was a way to get SAE native-speakers to recognize that AAVE and other “non-standard” dialects of English aren’t wrong.
Because if I hear one more SAE native-speaker “correct” someone who’se using AAVE I’m going to kill someone.
Fact: all English speakers (or of any language, for that matter) employ linguistic code-switching, whether it’s between SAE and AAVE, SAE and some other variant, or various levels of SAE. Anybody who wants to dispute this fact just needs to look at the differences between, say, their colloquial language and how they would write a job application letter. They’re the same language insofar as the words themselves and their general arrangement, but other qualifiers (vocabulary, tone, idiom, even grammar) are completely different. There is no difference between the viabilities of colloquial SAE and AAVE, except for racial and socioeconomic prejudices which have been applied to the latter throughout the years.
The problem is that we’re conditioned to reduce the spectrum of SAE to a certain midpoint of social acceptability. Enforcing linguistic ignorance by targeting AAVE or other dialect speakers is actually of detriment to everyone, because many singular-SAE speakers never learn to code switch. Sure, they might encounter problems later in life, but in the meanwhile, select groups of certain race and/or socioeconomic status are being punished for it.
This program is so great, because it teaches kids how to code-switch, that they can and should, and how to be proud of it.