Teaching Reading and Language Variation: A Reader

“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 Phonemic and Phonological Awareness to Children Who Speak African American English

Julie A. WashingtonRyan Lee-JamesCarla Burrell Stanford

First published: 11 April 2023