logo 
spacer
  

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

If you have an opinion, you should share it! Register Now!

America's Debate hosts the best in news, government, and political debate. Register now to take part in the most civil and constructive debate on the Internet. Join the community, and get ready to be challenged!

Click here to start

> Sponsored Links

Register to remove these ads!

> Welcome to the America's Debate Archive!

Topics that have had no new replies in the last 180 days are moved to the archive.

New replies are not accepted once a topic is moved to the archive, and new topics cannot be started in the archive.

> Ebonics as a second language?, Don't laugh, it's actually happening
ConservPat
post Jul 19 2005, 06:28 PM
Post #1


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 3,191
Member No.: 415
Joined: January-31-03

From: Boston
Gender: Male
Politics: Very Liberal
Party affiliation: Independent



So, in Oakland, California, Ebonics [black dialect/slang] is being taught in schools and is encouraged up until the fifth grade. Here are a few links: Article
Actual Ebonics Resolution

From the article:
QUOTE(Carry Secret)
The most powerful difference is that we in the Oakland SEP, under the inspirational directorship of Nabeehah Shakir, dared to honor and respect Ebonics as the home language that stands on its own rather than as a dialectical form of English. We see and understand that our language patterns and structure come from a family of languages totally unrelated to the Germanic roots of English. In some programs, grammar and drill are strong parts. I think our using second-language learning strategies has more impact on the students. The view is, "We are teaching you a second language, not fixing the home language you bring to school."


So the questions for debate are:
Do you think that Ebonics should be encouraged and taught in public schools? Why and why not?

Do you think Ebonics is helpful or harmful to the African-American community as a whole?

Do you believe that as a whole, the African-American community should attempt to curtail Ebonics as an attempt to assimilate?


A plea for civility: For the love of God/Allah/Yaweh/Budha/Vishnu, let's debate this with the civility and respect that the greatest debating forum on the planet deserves.

CP us.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
2 Pages V   1 2 >  
Start new topic
Replies (1 - 19)
nighttimer
post Jul 19 2005, 07:28 PM
Post #2


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Sponsor
February 2007

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 4,660
Member No.: 504
Joined: February-16-03

Gender: Undisclosed
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Undisclosed



unsure.gif I can debate this with civility and respect, ConservPat, but I just want to ask why are we debating an issue that dates back to 1997?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
ConservPat
post Jul 19 2005, 07:30 PM
Post #3


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 3,191
Member No.: 415
Joined: January-31-03

From: Boston
Gender: Male
Politics: Very Liberal
Party affiliation: Independent



QUOTE(nighttimer @ Jul 19 2005, 02:28 PM)
unsure.gif I can debate this with civility and respect,  ConservPat, but I just want to ask why are we debating an issue that dates back to 1997?
*


I actually just recently heard about this, this week and specifically last night while watching The Situation W/Tucker Carlson. So basically, we're debating it because I accidently turned on MSNBC last night w00t.gif smile.gif

By the way, I hope my "plea for civility" didn't come across as pointing out any one debater in particular...We just have a history at ad.gif of having extremely heated Race Debates. flowers.gif

CP us.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
carlitoswhey
post Jul 19 2005, 07:39 PM
Post #4


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 2,094
Member No.: 3,059
Joined: May-8-04

From: chicago
Gender: Male
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: None



Actually, ebonics be, er, is back in the news in San Bernadino, CA.

Apparently, they are teaching ebonics-speakers as if they speak a foreign language. So, I guess English will be taught as a foreign language.
QUOTE
SAN BERNARDINO Incorporating Ebonics into a new school policy that targets black students, the lowest-achieving group in the San Bernardino City Unified School District, may provide students a more well-rounded curriculum, said a local sociologist.

The goal of the district's policy is to improve black students' academic performance by keeping them interested in school. Compared with other racial groups in the district, black students go to college the least and have the most dropouts and suspensions.

Blacks make up the second largest racial group in the district, trailing Latinos.

<snip>
Texeira said research has shown that students learn better when they fully comprehend the language they are being taught in.

"There are African Americans who do not agree with me. They say that (black students) are lazy and that they need to learn to talk,' Texeira said.

<snip>
"When you are doing what's right, others will follow,' Jacocks said. "We have led the way before the civil-rights movement opened the door for women's rights and other movements.'
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Vibiana
post Jul 19 2005, 07:49 PM
Post #5


*****
Century Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 175
Member No.: 5,011
Joined: May-17-05

From: Kansas, USA
Gender: Female
Politics: Moderate
Party affiliation: None



Do you think that Ebonics should be encouraged and taught in public schools? Why and why not?

No. It is not correct English.

Do you think Ebonics is helpful or harmful to the African-American community as a whole?

Harmful.

Do you believe that as a whole, the African-American community should attempt to curtail Ebonics as an attempt to assimilate?

Yes.

This post has been edited by Vibiana: Jul 19 2005, 08:26 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Robert B
post Jul 19 2005, 07:57 PM
Post #6


*****
Century Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 162
Member No.: 3,557
Joined: August-31-04

From: Austin TX USA
Gender: Male
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Undisclosed



How can "Ebonics" be a separate language if it doesn't have its own distinct vocabulary? Isn't almost every word in "Ebonics" also a word in English?

Is Spanglish also a separate language? I'm betting it has a a lot more non-English words than "Ebonics".
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
aevans176
post Jul 19 2005, 07:58 PM
Post #7


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 1,931
Member No.: 3,607
Joined: September-13-04

From: Plano, TX. Sweater vest and Volvo hell.
Gender: Male
Politics: Conservative
Party affiliation: None



QUOTE(nighttimer @ Jul 19 2005, 02:28 PM)
unsure.gif I can debate this with civility and respect,  ConservPat, but I just want to ask why are we debating an issue that dates back to 1997?
*


Well sir, the funny thing is that you can generally understand "ebonics" as a coined phrase... but I live in TX where Spanish is a commodity. Nearly 1/2 the McDonalds and all of the gov't offices have signs in both languages, you don't have to speak English to get a drivers license, and no one seems to care.

I did see the links to it being back in the news, but never believe that "ebonics" will take hold anywhere that has a realistically prominent population of black people. No one I've ever met takes it seriously, and being from a very "black" state originally... I can say with assuredness that people don't see it as a viable course of action in most cases.

Now... if we were to discuss our pandering to the non-english speaking portion of the US and the troubles that it causes (with police and fire depts, hospitals, etc) then we'd have a debate!!!

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Jaime
post Jul 19 2005, 08:21 PM
Post #8


Group Icon

**********
Elite Senior Contributor

Group: Admin
Posts: 5,941
Member No.: 4
Joined: July-25-02

From: Down where the River meets the Sea
Gender: Female
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: None



Vibiana - since you're new you likely don't realize that many members of ad.gif have a lot of trouble debating race in a polite, constructive manner. Please be constructive in your posts (meaning cite sources to back your opinion) so we aren't forced to close this thread prematurely.

TOPICS:
Do you think that Ebonics should be encouraged and taught in public schools? Why and why not?

Do you think Ebonics is helpful or harmful to the African-American community as a whole?

Do you believe that as a whole, the African-American community should attempt to curtail Ebonics as an attempt to assimilate?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
quarkhead
post Jul 19 2005, 09:24 PM
Post #9


Group Icon

********
Original Sufferhead

Sponsor
February 2003

Group: Moderators
Posts: 2,180
Member No.: 328
Joined: December-11-02

From: Spokane, WA
Gender: Male
Politics: Very Liberal
Party affiliation: None



Do you think that Ebonics should be encouraged and taught in public schools? Why and why not?

Well no, it shouldn't be taught. And if you read the interview with Ms. Secret, you will soon see that Ebonics is not being taught at all. They are still teaching kids to use correct English. The difference is, well, here's her own words:

QUOTE
I think our using second-language learning strategies has more impact on the students. The view is, "We are teaching you a second language, not fixing the home language you bring to school."


It's changing only the way in which these kids are taught correct English grammar. And apparently it seems to be working. She goes on to say:

QUOTE
There's a misconception of the program, created by the media blitz of misinformation. Our mission was and continues to be: embrace and respect Ebonics, the home language of many of our students, and use strategies that will move them to a competency level in English. We never had, nor do we now have, any intention of teaching the home language to students. They come to us speaking the language.

We read literature that has Ebonics language patterns in it. For example, last year in fifth grade we read Joyce Hansen's "Yellow Bird and Me," and in fourth grade we read her book "The Gift Giver." The language was Ebonic in structure. The language was the bonding agent for students. The book just felt good to them.

When writing, the students are aware that finished pieces are written in English. The use of Ebonic structures appears in many of their first drafts. When this happens I simply say, "You used Ebonics here. I need you to translate this thought into English." This kind of statement does not negate the child's thought or language.


And people actually have a problem with this? I just don't get it. It seems like creating an issue out of nothing.

Do you think Ebonics is helpful or harmful to the African-American community as a whole?

It depends, really. Any kind of dialect, accent, or slang can be a barrier if you are trying to become Joe Corporate. For the majority of people, it doesn't really matter. I lived in Virginia from age 11 to 21; I worked construction jobs where I couldn't understand 75% of what the foreman was telling me - a good ol' white boy. But he was good at his job and he was the boss.

Do you believe that as a whole, the African-American community should attempt to curtail Ebonics as an attempt to assimilate?

Um, no. I object to the question. First of all, how would they do this? At meetings of the "African-American Community Club?" Would their "black leaders" decree it and the automatons obey? And what does assimilate mean? Become more like white people? Stop "acting black?" This is so meaningless. Black culture for a long time was separate - we made sure of that! But the 20th century saw a steady increase of black influence on our national culture - Jazz, blues, dances, rock n roll, soul, funk. I am picking out music because it's an area I know about, but there are many others. In short, the question is meaningless because there is nothing they need to assimilate to. They are already there.

It's also a bit silly for us to harp on Ebonics while every other store these days is a "Quik Mart," while grocery stores have signs saying "12 items or less."

Now, don't get me wrong - I think education is important, and learning correct English grammar is important. Kids who speak foreign languages, or use a lot of slang or various dialects, will have a better chance to succeed in life if they learn to speak and write correct English.

Which is exactly what is happening in Oakland.

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
carlitoswhey
post Jul 19 2005, 09:50 PM
Post #10


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 2,094
Member No.: 3,059
Joined: May-8-04

From: chicago
Gender: Male
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: None



QUOTE(quarkhead @ Jul 19 2005, 04:24 PM)
Now, don't get me wrong - I think education is important, and learning correct English grammar is important. Kids who speak foreign languages, or use a lot of slang or various dialects, will have a better chance to succeed in life if they learn to speak and write correct English.

Which is exactly what is happening in Oakland.

but quarkhead, do you think that people who honestly believe that "ebonics" is a distinct language are capable of effectively teaching our children English?

From the current (San Bernadino) article:
QUOTE
Mary Texeira, a sociology professor at Cal State San Bernardino, commended the San Bernardino Board of Education for approving the policy in June.

Texeira suggested that including Ebonics in the program would be beneficial for students. Ebonics, a dialect of American English that is spoken by many blacks throughout the country, was recognized as a separate language in 1996 by the Oakland school board.

"Ebonics is a different language, it's not slang as many believe,' Texeira said. "For many of these students Ebonics is their language, and it should be considered a foreign language. These students should be taught like other students who speak a foreign language.'
"Ebonics" is an accent or dialect. It's no different than an upper-midwestern Germanic accent or Minnesota Scandinavian accent or even my bad South-side-of-Chicago accent, which appears after a few beerssss. (long "ess" pronunciation from Chicago's bohemian / German immigrants - think "da bearsss" from SNL). To say that it is a separate language is to say that being Southern makes you bilingual.

What they were saying in Oakland and now in San Bernadino is that "Ebonics" is a separate language from English. Distinct. Not a dialect. And that is absurd, which is why many question their true mission or motivation and likely results. The current mantra in teaching technique is a "guide on the side" rather than "a sage on the stage." If I had black children in California, I'd suggest that a sage speaking English would better serve children in the real world (corporate Joe wanna be's or not) vs. some "ebonics" speaking guide.

All that said, I agree that approaching English using some English-as-a-second-language tools may be a good idea in every classroom, given the diversity of the student population in Cali.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
quarkhead
post Jul 19 2005, 10:17 PM
Post #11


Group Icon

********
Original Sufferhead

Sponsor
February 2003

Group: Moderators
Posts: 2,180
Member No.: 328
Joined: December-11-02

From: Spokane, WA
Gender: Male
Politics: Very Liberal
Party affiliation: None



It is a language. It is a dialect of English. Go read some linguistics to learn the difference between 'slang' and a dialect. Ebonics is a dialect. It confirms to the rules defining what a language is -
QUOTE
A language is a coherent system of signs - a grammar of elements and rules - which is used in a regular way for purposes of communication, and also for social symbolic purposes (such as making clear to listeners a speaker's identity, how they feel about themselves and others, and how they perceive a situation). African American Vernacular English, or AAVE - which is sometimes called "Ebonics", but not usually by linguists - does all these things and more, in ways just like other languages do.

- British linguistics dude

He goes on to say
QUOTE
Most of the time when people question whether AAVE is a language, they mean, Is it a separate system from English? in the way that German, Chinese, or Jamaican Creole are separate systems. In this sense, a dialect is a complete system that overlaps to a great degree with some other, super-system. Thus Bavarian German is a dialect of German-in-general (but it's not a dialect of Swiss German); London English is a dialect of English, and U.S.A. "Broadcast Standard" English is also a dialect of English.

AAVE, too, is an English dialect. Most of its components in the dimensions of grammar, lexicon, and pronunciation are widely shared with English - either with standard American English, or with Southern White English, or with vernacular dialects of English around the world. So it's not as separate as German, Chinese or Jamaican Creole, which all have very different grammars and lexicons, and which are all unintelligible to monolingual speakers of American Englishes. On the other hand, AAVE does have its own distinctive features and functions. It can be spoken badly, or imitated inaccurately, by whites (or blacks) unfamiliar with its rules; and it symbolizes community and cultural values for its speakers that no other dialect of English in the world can convey.


QUOTE(Charles Fillmore @ Center for Applied Linguistics)
Commentators choose to describe and classify the manner of speaking that is the target of the Ebonics resolution. The resolution and the public discussion about it have used so many different terms, each of them politically loaded ("Ebonics," "Black English," "Black Dialect," "African Language Systems," "Pan-African Communication Behaviors") that I will use what I think is the most neutral term, "African American Vernacular English," abbreviated as AAVE.

(1) Some participants in this debate think that AAVE is merely an imperfectly learned approximation to real English, differing from it because the speakers are careless and lazy and don't follow "the rules." It is "dialect," in the deprecating use of that word, or "slang."

(2) To most linguists AAVE is one of the dialects of American English, historically most closely related to forms of Southern speech but with differences attributable both to the linguistic history of slaves and to generations of social isolation. (For a linguist, to describe something as a dialect is not to say that it is inferior; everybody speaks a dialect.)

(3) And some people say that while AAVE has the superficial trappings of English, at its structural core it is a continuation or amalgam of one or more west African languages. The views summarized in (1) are simply wrong. The difference between the views identified in (2) and (3) is irrelevant to the issue the board is trying to face.

The Oakland resolution asks that the schools acknowledge that AAVE is the "primary language" of many of the children who enter Oakland schools. What this means is that it is their home language, the form of speech the children operated in during the first four or five years of their lives, the language they use with their family and friends. An early explanation of the purpose of the new program (San Francisco Chronicle 12/20) is that it "is intended to help teachers show children how to translate their words from 'home language' to the 'language of wider communication'."

Article here.

QUOTE(Walt Wolfram @ linguist, National Science Foundation)
The Separate Language Issue Resolution Statement: "African Language Systems have origins in West and Niger-Congo [African] languages and are not merely dialects of English."
Popular Interpretation: Ebonics is a separate language.

Linguistic Understanding: Language varieties may be comprised of components from different languages and dialects of English; language and dialect exist on a continuum.

The African Base Issue Resolution Statement: "...recognizes the existence and the cultural and historic bases of West and Niger-Congo African Language Systems, and these are the language patterns that many AfricanAmerican students bring to school"
Popular Interpretation: Ebonicsis an African language.

Linguistic Understanding: Language varieties may fuse different language donor sources in the formation of a distinct variety;this is natural and widespread. One hypothesis on the origin of AfricanAmerican English posits a link with creoles found in the African diaspora(e.g. Sierra Leone Krio, Jamaican Creole, Gullah).

The Genetic Issue Resolution Statement: "African Language Systemsare genetically based and not a dialect of English." (in December18 resolution only) Popular Interpretation: African Americans are biologically predisposed towards a particular language.
Linguistic Understanding: "Genetic"in the study of historical linguistics refers to linguistic origins, not biological predisposition. For example, one might say that German and English are genetically related because they come from the same historical source,or "language family."

The Bilingual Issue Resolution Statement: "the English language acquisition and improvement skills of African-American students are as fundamental as is application of bilingual or second language learner principles for others whose primary languages are other than English."
Popular Interpretation: Speakers of Ebonics should qualify for federally funded programs restricted to bilingual populations, for example, Spanish-English bilingual programs.

Linguistic Understanding: Speakers of varieties other than standard English should have access to programs where they can learn standard English; it is advantageous for such programs to take into account the systematic differences of the native language variety.

The Teaching Issue Resolution Statement: "...implement the best possible academic program for the combined purposes of facilitating the acquisition of and mastery of English language skills, while respecting and embracing the legitimacy and richness of the language patterns whether they are known as 'Ebonics', 'African Language Systems', 'Pan African Communication Behaviors', or other description."
Popular Interpretation: Students will be taught in Ebonics and teachers will be taught to use Ebonics ininstruction.

Linguistic Understanding: Students' community dialects will be respected and affirmed in the teaching process, and standard English will be used as the medium of instruction for schools.

Link here.

These people are linguists, not politicians with an ideological axe to grind. I will defer to their conclusions on the subject.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
carlitoswhey
post Jul 19 2005, 10:55 PM
Post #12


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 2,094
Member No.: 3,059
Joined: May-8-04

From: chicago
Gender: Male
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: None



QUOTE(quarkhead @ Jul 19 2005, 05:17 PM)
It is a language. It is a dialect of English. Go read some linguistics to learn the difference between 'slang' and a dialect. Ebonics is a dialect. It confirms to the rules defining what a language is -

Thanks for the links. I don't see anywhere where I've written that "ebonics" is "slang" though. My pronunciation of "the" as "da" is the linguistic equivalent of someone saying "ax" instead of "ask." In Chicago, we even end sentences with prepositions like ebonics (especially "at"). But it's not a language. I especially like Mr. Wolfram's translations and the idea of continuum, which is an idea I've bandied about previously.

My concern was those in charge of the Oakland / San Bernadino program and their understanding and linguistic expertise. Carrie Secret says that "Ebonics" is a language, NOT a dialect, so I guess you and she disagree. The Oakland school board made much noise about its patterns deriving from African languages, and saying that it was not Germanic. I have suspicious that people who believe these things may not be fond of actually running a classroom or teaching phonics or diagramming sentences, preferring the kids figure the world out for themselves and delivering us class after class consisting of a mèlange of bad speakers and non-spellers. When we really could use more doctors or engineers.

The source I usually use for language / country reference, here, falls on the side of "it's a dialect, but not a language."
QUOTE
English 210,000,000 in the USA (1984). 8,400,000 USA residents 14 years old or older who do not speak fluent English; 38% or 7,700,000 households headed by immigrants.  Dialects: Black English.  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English 
No politics or axes intended with my posts. I think that kids should also learn real second languages, and maybe even dead ones like Latin or Greek. In English class, I think that they should learn English, whether using second-language modalities or not. It may come in handy some day. Like if they want a job with an evil multinational corporation whose business language is English ... or even to visit England. smile.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
ConservPat
post Jul 19 2005, 10:58 PM
Post #13


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 3,191
Member No.: 415
Joined: January-31-03

From: Boston
Gender: Male
Politics: Very Liberal
Party affiliation: Independent



QUOTE(Quarkster)
Um, no. I object to the question. First of all, how would they do this? At meetings of the "African-American Community Club?" Would their "black leaders" decree it and the automatons obey?

Actually no. Let me ask you Quarkhead, how do you think that this anti-intellectual crap gets circulated within the African-American community? Through black culture. If the cultural leaders in the black community were to stop using Ebonics and start promoting intellectualism, maybe we wouldn't be having this conversation. Still, the cultural leaders won't change their tune for nothing, there needs to be an outcry for it, and that starts with average people.

QUOTE
And what does assimilate mean? Become more like white people? Stop "acting black?"

Only if speaking English and promoting intellectualism is a "white quality", which certainly is not the case.

CP us.gif

This post has been edited by ConservPat: Jul 19 2005, 11:05 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
nighttimer
post Jul 20 2005, 12:31 AM
Post #14


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Sponsor
February 2007

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 4,660
Member No.: 504
Joined: February-16-03

Gender: Undisclosed
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Undisclosed



First things first:

African American Vernacular English (AAVE), known colloquially as Ebonics, also called Black English, Black Vernacular or Black English Vernacular, is a dialect and ethnolect of American English. Similar in certain pronunciational respects to common southern U.S. English, the dialect is spoken by many African Americans in the United States. AAVE shares many characteristics with various pidgin and creole English dialects spoken by blacks worldwide. AAVE also has grammatical origins in, and pronunciational characteristics in common with, various West African languages.

AAVE is often erroneously perceived by members of mainstream American society to indicate inferior intelligence or low educational attainment. Furthermore, as with many other creole dialects, AAVE sometimes has been called "lazy" or "bad" English by those who do not understand the process of creolization. A similar perception exists with regard to SAE in Britain and other English-speaking nations. Such appraisals also may be due in part to AAVE's substitution of aspect for tense in some cases and certain grammatical and phonological reductions. Some challenge whether AAVE should be considered a dialect at all. However, among linguists there is no such controversy, since AAVE, like all dialects, shows consistent internal logic and structure.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebonics

Now to the questions posed.

Do you think that Ebonics should be encouraged and taught in public schools? Why and why not?

1. If Ebonics is found by the educators, school board, parents and students of a school system to be a useful tool in aiding the children to learn then what is the harm in trying it? When conventional answers fail then start thinking outside the box and try the unconventional. It's pure folly to think all children start from the same point and learn everything the same way. You can't just open up their brains and pour the information in. The brains are physically the same but the way they process information may not be.

Do you think Ebonics is helpful or harmful to the African-American community as a whole?

2. Compared to what? Compared to the disproportionate numbers of African-Americans that suffer from alcohol, drugs, diabetes, prostate cancer, gun violence, or the Drug War? Ebonics is a means, not an end. When I'm hangin' with the homies playing a game of Madden 2005, plenty of smack will be run and somebody's mama might get dogged out. When I'm on my job I use the King's English and I speak using language, phrasings and dialect that are compatible in any workplace in Corporate America.

In other words, the way I speak around my peeps ain't the way I roll when I'm on my j-o-b. Black people are bilingual like that.

Do you believe that as a whole, the African-American community should attempt to curtail Ebonics as an attempt to assimilate?

No, I believe this is a ridiculous question. As I stated in another, now closed thread, the intention of intergration and the Civil Rights Era was not to "assimilate" into a faux state of "honorary Whiteness." Black Americans have not assimilated into the larger American culture as much as they have become another aspect of the larger American culture.

WE did not have to come to YOU and YOU did not have to come to US. We ALL met in the middle and the result is masala, a term used in Indian cooking word for a mixture of many spices.

Like Bill Cosby, I know that a kid walking into a job interview speaking in Ebonics is never going to get a gig at a Fortune 500 company. That's fine because not everyone wants to work at Wal-Mart anyway. But I know there's a time "to keep it real" and there's a time to speak, dress and conduct oneself in a way that does not alarm, confuse, anger or frighten that White Person across the desk who can decide whether or not to hire me.

Speaking Ebonics is nothing to be ashamed of or embarassed by. But like sex, religion and politics, it has its place. Knowing when and where that is can make the difference between a paycheck and no paycheck.

dry.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
turnea
post Jul 20 2005, 01:18 AM
Post #15


**********
Tweedy Impertinence

Sponsor
December 2005

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 5,585
Member No.: 133
Joined: September-27-02

From: Alabama
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: None



Oh Lord, here it comes!

I can watch the silly extrapolation play out already.

The minor decision of one school board in one little city will now certainly be taken as the pulse of black America.

Say goodbye to perspective and reason, we have a band-wagon! laugh.gif

Do you think that Ebonics should be encouraged and taught in public schools? Why and why not?
Ebonics, like the myriad regional dialects in our country is a perfectly natural occurence that very rarely encroaches on serious territory.

Very few African-Americans speak it at all (expect as an running joke) and almost none in a professional capacity.

Black people speak English just like everyone else. If you ask for directions from a random black person you should understand them just fine (even if they are probably wrong).

So really it doesn't matter if the "subject" is taught in school or not.

I see it as a waste of time, but then again so are a lot of courses.

Do you think Ebonics is helpful or harmful to the African-American community as a whole?
Neither, as it is not very commonly used in conversing with people who don't speak it, it is largely irrelevant.
Do you believe that as a whole, the African-American community should attempt to curtail Ebonics as an attempt to assimilate?
No more than New Englanders should get a handle on their pronunciation (or lack thereof) of "R" sounds or southerners drop their endless repertoire of contractions and just plain nonsense sounds.

In other words, since it is not a major bar to communication, no.

It's simply something easy to whine about. Seeing as the dialect will never go away (none of them ever do) it is the eternal whipping boy of those who really have no interest in understanding race relations in our country.

It's an easy and transparent trap to fall into...

The fact that Tucker is still mouthing about this after eight years speaks poorly for the man's vision.

This post has been edited by turnea: Jul 20 2005, 01:41 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
quarkhead
post Jul 20 2005, 01:59 AM
Post #16


Group Icon

********
Original Sufferhead

Sponsor
February 2003

Group: Moderators
Posts: 2,180
Member No.: 328
Joined: December-11-02

From: Spokane, WA
Gender: Male
Politics: Very Liberal
Party affiliation: None



Let's remember, again, that no one is teaching "ebonics!" What they are doing is approaching the teaching of English, using the modalities (thanks carlito) of EASEL. That is all they are doing.

The line between a dialect and a language is not a clear one, as a linguist will tell you. Some might classify dialects as separate languages. In Jamaica, when someone speaks the creole English, you can hardly understand them. The words are English, but the meanings and structure are different.

There is a much clearer difference between slang and dialect, or between accent and dialect.

QUOTE
Actually no. Let me ask you Quarkhead, how do you think that this anti-intellectual crap gets circulated within the African-American community? Through black culture. If the cultural leaders in the black community were to stop using Ebonics and start promoting intellectualism, maybe we wouldn't be having this conversation. Still, the cultural leaders won't change their tune for nothing, there needs to be an outcry for it, and that starts with average people.


Look, I know you are well meaning, but this doesn't make sense. Which cultural leaders? Strange-haired people who get a 2 second blather on network news? Al Sharpton in a preacher's drawl? What is it we want - an America where everyone speaks with the same uninflected monotone voice? Is that what 'assimilation' means? So, should the blacks in Jamaica learn to speak BBC English? Or should the British expats there start learning patois in school? Why can't we just not worry about it? I speak differently with my friends than I do with coworkers. I speak differently to my children than I do to a guy in my band.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
No politics or axes intended with my posts. I think that kids should also learn real second languages, and maybe even dead ones like Latin or Greek. In English class, I think that they should learn English, whether using second-language modalities or not. It may come in handy some day. Like if they want a job with an evil multinational corporation whose business language is English ... or even to visit England.


I agree 100%. And as it turns out, no one is teaching AAVE as a second language. Don't worry, your kids in Oakland won't have to take "Ebonics 101" anytime soon. What they are doing is teaching English. And they are more successful because they recognize that to kids who speak primarily AAVE, if they use ESL techniques it is better. Because AAVE isn't 'bad English.' It is not 'wrong speaking.'

I should think we would all be lauding a program that finds a better way to teach kids to write and speak well.

So who is saying they are teaching Ebonics? A news reporter on a slow day? Some right-wing kook with an agenda to fill? It doesn't matter. What matters is that the truth is staring us in the face, and yet people continue to answer these debate questions as if they were teaching Ebonics to kids willy-nilly. BUT THEY ARE NOT!!!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Artemise
post Jul 20 2005, 10:43 AM
Post #17


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 1,114
Member No.: 668
Joined: April-15-03

From: Alaska
Gender: Female
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Democrat



I was talking with a client the other day who is a linguistics teacher at University of Alaska. He openly admitted that his chosen profession was not something that was going to change the world but was something he loved. I asked many questions, such as how language came to be defined from one culture and country to the next.
He explained to me that youth changes language ALL the time. It is with the young that language goes through constant evolution. He also talked about isolated groups of people talking to each other changes language, such as the bizarre relation between English being a Germanic language having evolved differently on the British Isles in comparison to home Germany, the two have little in common today, at least it is difficult if not impossible to understand each other, yet both come from the same source. I challenge an english speaker to go to Germany and try to order food from a menu where every word has about 15 letters. German is the basis of the English language. THAT tells you how much language has evolved over time.

Inject into Puerto Rican and Mexican Spanish, english terms like 'refrigerator' (nevera in spanish) apartamento, (piso) and all new terms regarding 'computers' (computadoras), micro-wave (micro-ondas), every language including Hawaiian is going through evolution of language to accept english terminology as we evolve.

Now, the black culture in America has come up with its own diversions based upon its root base. I find this unique and interesting. Firstly because it seems to come from an almost osmosis from the past, a past far removed from historical experience yet preserved somehow in genetic memory, perhaps picked up post-haste from Caribbean cultures or a new thing which uniquely defines that which linguists speak of, isolated groups talking only with each other and refining that particular method of speaking, perhaps also NOT to be understood by others, such as Creole. Caribbean Island Creole is a mix of French, English, Spanish and perhaps some African terms, noone can understand it easily, it has served to prevent 'others' from knowing much about the inner workings of the culture, which considering the circumstances would have been and is beneficial. I would suggest the same for African Americans in creating a side language, but hopefully NT will clue me in if I am totally off base.

QUOTE
If the cultural leaders in the black community were to stop using Ebonics and start promoting intellectualism, maybe we wouldn't be having this conversation


The two are not mutually exclusive. Its ignorant to suggest such. It is far reaching to suggest that because a people use a particular language style they are anti-intellectual. Thats like saying all Southerners are stupid because they have a drawl and use other english teminologies and if they'd just stop talking that way and 'changed' somehow they would get a whole lot smarter. Its ridiculous. We all KNOW southerners are just dumb as doornails! Why dont they just stop being who they are and become someone else for their own good?
---------------------------------------------
I think that reaching children on their home ground at school cannot be a bad thing. It lets them know that they are not some outcasts in society, which in my thoughts almost every kid feels in some way. There is a lot of hopelessness out there. I dont believe in coddling children the way education and parents are doing today, protecting them from the real world, but meeting them on their own level and elevating it has got to be a better than just bulldozing them with Status quo.

The way I figure it these new things they are incorporating encourage thinking and someone is teaching it because they care, in contrast to the boring curriculums of the past where we memorized test questions and got really nothing out of it but historical dates.

Side:
Has anyone been watching Russell Simmons Hbo special DefPoetry Jams?
Its really been a thing of beauty and culture to behold. Long live the open mind and the open mike.

This post has been edited by Artemise: Jul 20 2005, 11:08 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
ConservPat
post Jul 20 2005, 01:15 PM
Post #18


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 3,191
Member No.: 415
Joined: January-31-03

From: Boston
Gender: Male
Politics: Very Liberal
Party affiliation: Independent



QUOTE
Look, I know you are well meaning, but this doesn't make sense. Which cultural leaders? Strange-haired people who get a 2 second blather on network news? Al Sharpton in a preacher's drawl?

Well, when you think of modern African-American culture, who do you think of? Probably athletes and rappers...People who, if they ventured to speak English, might have an affect on the influential African-American kids.

QUOTE
What is it we want - an America where everyone speaks with the same uninflected monotone voice? Is that what 'assimilation' means?

God no! I looooove accents [especially my own], it's a badge of individuality, a beautiful thing. Ebonics is not an accent, it's just seriously butchered English, and to call it a language is disgraceful. It starts with an English sentence, cuts holes in it and screws up spelling...It's just bad English, this has nothign to do with monotone voices with the same accent, all I'm saying is SPEAK ENGLISH! I don't care how it sounds, if I were to read my post out loud to you Quark, I'm sure you'd have a chuckle over my at times, heavy New Jersey Accent. But I'd still be speaking English.

CP us.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dontreadonme
post Jul 20 2005, 02:30 PM
Post #19


Group Icon

**********
I think, therefore I am an enemy of the State....and Fox News

Sponsor
October 2003

Group: Moderators
Posts: 6,452
Member No.: 359
Joined: December-25-02

From: Nestled in the Shenandoah
Gender: Male
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: Libertarian



Do you think that Ebonics should be encouraged and taught in public schools? Why and why not?
I won't claim to be informed enough (yet) as to whether or not this would be advantageous or not to teach or encourage in schools.

Do you think Ebonics is helpful or harmful to the African-American community as a whole?

Again, I don't pretend to be Lakoff or Chomsky, I only know what many of the perceptions are. The perceptions that I see in the military, and I assume they would be similar in a diverse civilian workplace are these; Blacks who speak what we would term as ebonics are viewed at first glance as less than intellectual, to say the least. Whether viewed as a product of ghetto culture, rap culture or just lazy speech, the perception is not positive. The same is true, maybe to a lesser extent of southern, native american and jersey-ite accents. Professional conduct and speech is regarded as essential for upward mobility in the military and civilian workplaces.
People shouldn't be judged at first glance by their appearance or speech, but by their actions. But they are, and will continue to be for some time, until we finally emerge from our neanderthal stage.
So, who's right and who's wrong? Are people who speak ebonics lazy or uneducated. Likely not. As long as they know when professional language is required and when slang is acceptable, it shouldn't even be an issue. The flip side that affects many blacks I know in the Army is this; when they speak 'proper' english, they get chided by their peers and subordinates as 'acting white'. So it's a lose-lose situation for them, and frankly causes just as much grief for them as worrying about racism from whites.

I don't have any answers, just observations.

This post has been edited by Dontreadonme: Jul 20 2005, 02:32 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
carlitoswhey
post Jul 20 2005, 02:35 PM
Post #20


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 2,094
Member No.: 3,059
Joined: May-8-04

From: chicago
Gender: Male
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: None



QUOTE(nighttimer @ Jul 19 2005, 07:31 PM)
....
When I'm hangin' with the homies playing a game of Madden 2005, plenty of smack will be run and somebody's mama might get dogged out.  When I'm on my job I use the King's English and I speak using language, phrasings and dialect that are compatible in any workplace in Corporate America.

In other words, the way I speak around my peeps ain't the way I roll when I'm on my j-o-b.  Black people are bilingual like that.

I have to agree wholeheartedly. I have a completely different vocabulary (including lots of "ebonics") when I'm with my high-school friends, whom I still see regularly for 20 years running now. It's actually pretty funny to hear 37-year-old white guys saying things like "'supwichuholmes" and calling each other "bro." Some of us have even kept pace and have pizimp tizalk returning to the reportoire (funny how the 70's are even coming back in terms of language). I was talking to a Scottish guy about this and he had exactly the same observation. His wife refers to his "with my friends" voice as his "neddy" voice. Which would be the Glasgow equivalent of saying his "thuggish" voice. All around the world, the same song.

QUOTE(Artemise @ Jul 20 2005, 05:43 AM)
QUOTE
If the cultural leaders in the black community were to stop using Ebonics and start promoting intellectualism, maybe we wouldn't be having this conversation


The two are not mutually exclusive. Its ignorant to suggest such. It is far reaching to suggest that because a people use a particular language style they are anti-intellectual. Thats like saying all Southerners are stupid because they have a drawl and use other english teminologies and if they'd just stop talking that way and 'changed' somehow they would get a whole lot smarter. Its ridiculous. We all KNOW southerners are just dumb as doornails! Why dont they just stop being who they are and become someone else for their own good?

Again, I have to agree. While all of us, black or white, can argue that glorifying pimps and violence is detrimental to youth, to blame it on language is missing the point. Not to pick on Southerners, but if dialects were mutually exclusive from intellectualism, we'd have to disavow Mark Twain and William Faulkner.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

2 Pages V   1 2 >
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

  
Go to the top of the page - Simple Version Time is now: June 3rd, 2020 - 07:59 PM
©2002-2010 America's Debate, Inc.  All rights reserved.