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Spreading the Word : Language and Dialect in America
by John McWhorter


Overview - The idea that there is one "best" English is so intuitively plausible and so relentlessly inculcated in us that it is only natural to attempt to uphold this "Standard" among our students. Our error is in thinking that anything that deviates from this Standard is wrong.  Read more...

 
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More About Spreading the Word by John McWhorter
 
 
 
Overview
The idea that there is one "best" English is so intuitively plausible and so relentlessly inculcated in us that it is only natural to attempt to uphold this "Standard" among our students. Our error is in thinking that anything that deviates from this Standard is wrong. In Spreading the Word, linguist John McWhorter proves that these nonstandard dialects are not bastardizations of Standard English, but alternate variations upon the basic plan of English, of which the Standard is but one.

With a general focus on classroom applications, McWhorter makes accessible to teachers, teacher educators, and administrators basic language principles that are commonly accepted by linguists, but rarely disseminated to a general audience. Using data from several different languages, McWhorter shows that the speech differences we hear in America are qualitatively equivalent to those heard in other parts of the world where the same differences are not considered "bad language." He links his thesis not only to "prescriptive grammar," but to more immediate issues facing classroom teachers, such as Black English and code switching between Spanish and English. A complete chapter is dedicated to showing how mixture between languages is a worldwide and natural phenomenon, rather than a language-ravaging "accident."

Spreading the Word closes with a brief overview of eight of the most spoken languages in this country that are least like English. In doing so, McWhorter helps us come to view the language palette that exists in our classrooms as an asset not a problem. Most of all, he reinforces our best instincts about accepting and celebrating our students' language, while giving us solid grounds for doing so.


This item is Non-Returnable.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780325001982
  • ISBN-10: 0325001987
  • Publisher: Heinemann Educational Books
  • Publish Date: January 2000
  • Page Count: 96
  • Reading Level: Ages 12-18
  • Dimensions: 9.18 x 6.02 x 0.22 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.31 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Language Arts & Disciplines > General
Books > Education > Professional Development
Books > Education > Teaching Methods & Materials - General

 
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