Thursday, April 22, 2010

Topic: Black Dialect and Oral Reading

10-second review: The author asserts that black students reading orally will shift what they read in standard English into their dialect. The author suggests that these miscues sometimes interfere with comprehension and sometimes do not. For instance, the student who reads “I did my work” as “I done my work” understands fully the meaning of that sentence and his use of the dialect does not interfere with his understanding of the meaning.

Title: “Black Dialect Shift in Oral Reading.” KR Johnson. Journal of Reading (April 1975), 535-540.

Comment: I guess I wonder if speakers of black dialect do make that shift from standard English in reading to the same idea translated into black dialect. If they do, and the meaning is essentially the same, then obviously that speaker is reading very well—able to comprehend the meaning of the sentence so well that he or she can interpret it using the black dialect.

For me, the significance of this problem is correctness in using standard English. That is not a reading problem. It’s a social problem. RayS.

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