Talk:Ebonics (word)

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These belong?[edit]

www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/24/ebonics-translators-justice_n_692565.html www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7962667/Ebonics-translators-needed-by-DEA-to-interpret-drugs-wiretaps.html news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/24/dea-wants-to-hire-ebonics-translators/ www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2010/08/ebonics_official_language 166.205.138.184 (talk) 01:12, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Although the word Ebonics is used, what is being referred to here is actually African American Vernacular English; the issue of whether this should be mentioned is currently being discussed at the talk page there and you're welcome to contribute to the discussion. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 01:43, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Ebonics Subcategories[edit]

This is a place to discuss any aspect of Ebonics, African American English or the Oakland Board of Education controversy that concerns Ebonics, but may not necessarily be directly about the specific term or may be hard to fit into the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by EleanorPollo (talkcontribs) 22:24, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Well actually no it isn't; instead it's the place to discuss this particular article, and improvements to it. -- Hoary (talk) 11:28, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

"Using the vernacular to teach the standard"[edit]

In his article "Using the Vernacular to Teach the Standard"[1], esteemed Stanford University linguist John R. Rickford cites three approaches to integrating children's vernacular into the educational environment, particularly in the arena of reading comprehension in standard American English. They are as follows:

  • The Linguistically Informed Approach: This first approach is based on the guidelines set by William Labov resulting from decades of research on Ebonics or African American Vernacular English (AAVE). This approach requires that teachers be able to differentiate between errors in reading comprehension, and differences in pronunciation. It also suggests employing teaching techniques that take into account the grammatical structure of Ebonics, such as focusing on pronunciation of the ends of words, since Ebonics has a stronger modifying effect on the ends of words than it does the beginning of them.
  • Contrastive Analysis: The second approach involves drawing the student's attention to the structural differences between the standard and the vernacular. Rickford cites work done by Hanni Taylor of Aurora University who was confronted with a population of students who used features of Ebonics in their standard English writing. Dividing her students into two groups, a control group, and an experimental group, she taught the former using conventional methods, and the latter using Contrastive Analysis. To quote Rickford; "What she found after eleven weeks was that the kids who were using traditional techniques showed an 8.5 percent increase in their use of Ebonics speech in their writing while the kids who had benefited from Contrastive Analysis showed a 59 percent decrease in their use of Ebonics features in their writing." This is strong evidence that acknowledgement of the vernacular is beneficial to the academic advancement of students coming from linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  • Introducing reading in the vernacular, then switching to the standard: The third and final approach presented suggests using the vernacular to teach reading in the beginning stages, and then switching to the standard. Rickford cites research done in the Philippines in which half of a group of school-age children were taught to read for four years in English, while the other half started with their native language for the first two years, and then switched to English. Rickford says that "What the researchers found is what other researchers have found in many studies, namely that the kids who began in their own vernacular, when they switched to the second language, very rapidly caught up with the kids who started in English, and even surpassed them. The kids who started in the vernacular were outperforming in English the kids who started in English, in subjects ranging from reading to social studies, and even arithmetic." While this research was not done specifically on child speakers of Ebonics, it does show precedence for success in teaching with this method. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Matteakline (talkcontribs) 22:28, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
That's something that might be brought up at some page about the learning or teaching of reading, and mentioned within the article on the "Oakland Ebonics controversy". -- Hoary (talk) 11:28, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Heaven forbid...[edit]

I don't know who wrote or is responsible for this article now, but I am counting down the minutes until my perfectly reasonable, valid and pertinent citation of John McWhorter's book "Losing the Race" and its thorough discussion on the danger of "Ebonics" is removed. I already see it has been flagged for "full citation needed." Wasn't citing the book and creating an entry in the refs enough, when there is an entire section in the book on Ebonics? Rather than deleting it, let's talk about it. Alexandermoir (talk) 21:47, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

No call for a deletion. We're just missing the page number. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 02:25, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Purpose of using the label[edit]

Is the term "ebonics" used primarily to facilitate language learning, by young students of "standard English" - or more to give dignity to "urban" slang? That is, was the emphasis more on mainstreaming speakers of slang so that they could become bilingual, i.e., able to speak slang and standard English equally well? Or was there more emphasis on stopping speakers of standard English from calling Black slang "substandard", i.e., bad or wrong or "low class"?

One reason I'm interested in this is that I've started tutoring math in Harlem, and all my students are black children who speak standard English but who (apparently) also know street slang. When speaking to me they generally take pains to use standard English, but when comfortable or excited they have occasionally lapsed (see code switching) into slang.

I'm fascinated by the regularity of Ebonics. I'm not so interested in whether it's high or low class, proper or improper. But I know some people disdain its use while others exalt it.

I want to know if it's more of a pidgin or a creole, or is it just (as I've been regarding it) slang? --Uncle Ed (talk) 16:48, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Your questions seem genuine (and amicable, etc), but rather less about the article than its subject -- or indeed the subject of a separate article, African American Vernacular English. I've therefore answered them (or tried to do so) on your talk page. -- Hoary (talk) 07:30, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Links[edit]

[[WP:LINK Some of these links are to a single resource, document, or video (e.g. the non-functional http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5634427384230199073 ) and those should probably be incorporated into the article as references or removed entirely. Some are to much broader discussions and blogs about the topic, which are good for readers to do more extensive investigation. Basically, if I ever see an article with more than a half-dozen links (barring a few classes of article, such as biographies of prominent politicians, where there will be a wealth of high-quality links), I am inclined to slap on {{toomanylinks}}. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 19:44, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Pedagogy or language?[edit]

This shouldn't be so hard to answer. The article's lede states, "Since the 1996 controversy over its use by the Oakland School Board, the term Ebonics has come to refer to using the pedagogical tool of teaching Standard American English to native speakers of AAVE by creating a distinction between Standard American English and African American Vernacular English," with a citation that failed verification. Elsewhere, the idea of ebonics as a dialect, especially as a synonym for AAVE, is dismissed as a popular misconception ("Thereafter, the term Ebonics became popularized, though as little more than a synonym for African American Vernacular English"). But another citation seems to refute this: "The use of the pedagogic approach called phonics, particularly in the context of reading, may have helped mislead people into thinking that the phonics from which the term Ebonics is partially derived has this meaning." So which is it? Does one speak ebonics or teach using it? --BDD (talk) 22:55, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

The article was indeed very confused. So much energy has to be put into protecting it and AAVE from stupidity and truthiness that not enough has been left for checking what hasn't been deleted.
The referent of "Ebonics" has generally been the same as that of "AAVE". -- Hoary (talk) 23:30, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! That looks much better. --BDD (talk) 17:40, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Ebonics is not a language[edit]

Why did someone edit the clarifications to the article?? It should state:

"Ebonics (a blend of the words ebony and phonics) is a term that was originally intended to refer to the informal, incorrect grammar usage of the English language of people descended from enslaved Black Africans, particularly in West Africa, the Caribbean, and North America. Since the 1996 controversy over its use by the Oakland School Board, the term Ebonics has primarily been used to refer to African American Vernacular English (AAVE), an incorrect grammatical version of Standard American English that gets passed down from parent to child, not through formal education. AAVE is not a language and there is no clear standard for its grammar. It can best be categorized as English regional slang due to the distinct spoken differences you can encounter in different city blocks, towns, cities, regions, and countries." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.220.59.47 (talk) 19:32, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

I have bolded the parts you added. In both cases, your additions are either inaccurate (Ebonics/AAVE is not a version of Standard English), opinionated (the status of AAVE as a separate language is not something we are in a position to take a side on), irrelevant (there are very few languages or dialects that aren't "passed down from parent to child"), or obscenely ignorant (no language expert would ever call any variety "incorrect"). You're entitled to your opinion, but please keep it out of the encyclopedia. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 19:45, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
I fixed the phrases to be more sensitive.
Ebonics (a blend of the words ebony and phonics) is a term that was originally intended to refer to the informal, non-standard grammar usage of the English language of people descended from enslaved Black Africans, particularly in West Africa, the Caribbean, and North America. Since the 1996 controversy over its use by the Oakland School Board, the term Ebonics has primarily been used to refer to African American Vernacular English (AAVE), a non-standard grammatical version of Standard American English that gets passed down from parent to child, not through formal education. [2] AAVE is not a language and there is no clear standard for its grammar. It can best be categorized as English regional slang or an informal dialect due to the distinct spoken differences you can encounter in different city blocks, towns, cities, regions, and countries. [3]
Still wrong. Ebonics was originally coined to refer to not just AAVE, but all language used by the peoples of the African diaspora, including creole languages. AAVE is not "an non-standard grammatical version of Standard American English" (that's an ungrammatical and self-contradictory phrase anyway). The only thing that's accurate, that children learn AAVE from their parents, is irrelevant to the article. You even put a citation to a piece written by John Rickford as if it backs up your claims when it actually contradicts what you've included. That's fabrication, a serious form of scholarly misconduct. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 21:23, 11 November 2012 (UTC)