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Social Justice through Dialect Awareness

Supporting English Dialect Speakers in 6-12 English Language Arts Classrooms

By June 2016, participants will learn to support speakers of historically stigmatized English dialects by incorporating linguistic knowledge into their classroom teaching.

Course Description: 

Different dialects of English are celebrated or stigmatized even though linguists tell us they are all linguistically equal. This dialect prestige and stigma impacts the educational trajectories of our students. As English teachers we have the duty and privilege to use linguistic facts to teach about language while also addressing social inequities.

Through this course teachers will learn to support speakers of historically stigmatized English dialects (e.g. African-American English, Chicano English) by incorporating linguistic knowledge into their teaching. Focusing on each of the Common Core strands of English we will craft lessons that emphasize “effective” language use for different audiences and purposes. Teachers will learn new ways to talk and teach about language with their students, build lessons for their particular context, and develop a network of support to help work through issues of language, prejudice, and power in their classrooms. 

Keywords: english, code-switching, 6-12th grade, english language arts, ELA, common Core

Audience: 6-8 Teachers, 9-12 Teachers Duration: Monthly, 2015-2016 School Year
Format of Course: Face-to-Face Cost: $200
Units: 2 Status: Open

Location: Stanford University

Course Facilitators: 

Mike Metz Mike is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescent Language Arts. He has taught pre-K through Master's students, in public, private and charter schools. He is currently in the later stages of a doctoral program in Curriculum and Teacher Education at Stanford University.