“Teaching reading to children whose language differs from the oral language of the classroom and from the linguistic structure of academic text adds an additional layer of complexity to reading instruction,” write Washington and Seidenberg.
This speaks to a concern I have raised, and been harshly criticized for, about teaching phonics, the centering of standardized pronunciation, and the deficit perspective of stigmatizing regional and cultural pronunciation patterns.
Here I invite you to read the following as a text set to interrogate systematic phonics instruction, standardized pronunciation, and the humanity of individual student differences grounded in their spoken language variations:
- Teaching Reading to African American Children (AFT)
- This Ain’t Another Statement! This is a DEMAND for Black Linguistic Justice! (Conference on College Composition and Communication)
- What These Children Are Like, Ralph Ellison
- The Lazy Phonics Debate: On Coyotes and Whose Pronunciation Matters
Teaching Phonemic and Phonological Awareness to Children Who Speak African American English
Julie A. Washington, Ryan Lee-James, Carla Burrell Stanford
First published: 11 April 2023