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By Elaine Richardson

African-American Literacies is a private, public and political exploration of the issues confronted through pupil writers from the African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) culture.

Drawing on own adventure, Elaine Richardson presents a compelling account of the language and literacy practices of African-American scholars. The booklet analyses the issues encountered via the academics of AAVE audio system, and gives African American targeted theories and pedagogical tools of addressing those difficulties. Richardson builds on fresh learn to argue that academics don't need to simply to know the price and value of African-American tradition, but in addition to exploit African-American English whilst educating AAVE audio system normal English.

African-American Literacies bargains a holistic and culturally correct method of literacy schooling, and is vital examining for someone with an curiosity within the literacy practices of African-American students.

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Most scholars of language agree that when Africans and Europeans “met,” their languages mingled to create new African and European influenced language systems. Dalby (1970: 4) gives a useful outline of this phenomenon: “Black” enables us to group together a wide range of speech forms, on both sides of the Atlantic, in which a largely European vocabulary is coupled with grammatical and phonological features reminiscent of West African languages: … The clearest examples of [“Black Atlantic”] languages are what may be termed “creoles” or “creolized languages,” in each of which the divergence from the original European language has been so great that one may consider a new language to have come into being, no longer inter-intelligible with its European counterpart.

NEW THINKING IN LITERACY AND COMPOSITION 29 Taylor’s bi-dialectal approach consists of identifying her students’ use of AAVE in their writing, pattern practice drills, teaching students to recognize “high interference domains,” “audio-lingual” repetition of LWC constructions, and translation of literary passages from AAVE to LWC. Taylor is to be commended for her endeavors to recognize the “value differentials” and complexities that exist between Black language and culture and the dominant culture.

Basically, of their own devices, African American students train themselves to deal with the inequality of the educational experience and general societal conflicts. One option for school success for African American students lies in enduring the system and avoiding or masking vernacular literacies. I use the term literacies to signify opposition to the concept of monolithic autonomous literacy (Street, 1993: 9). “Literacies are social practices: ways of reading and writing and using written texts that are bound up in social processes which locate individual action within social and cultural processes” (Martin-Jones and Jones, 2000: 4–5).

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