LA 1.3: Whose Language Is Correct?


Learning Outcome Pedagogical Intent Student Position

Identify and articulate how your beliefs impact attention to language.

Assessment: 25 pts.

TA: 45 Minutes

Teachers will reflect upon their own language learning and understand their role as a member of various speech communities to better under-stand the speech communities of students and their families.

Students have learned new facts about categories that contribute to judgments about correctness, have discussed some of their own language experiences, and have watched a video about membership in a speech community. Students are now prepared to synthesize beliefs and assumptions about correctness with linguistic facts on the topic.


  1. Get into groups of 4. Together, identify assumptions people make about others who use non-standard varieties of English (such as Black Vernacular or Latino English) and the labels used to summarize those assumptions. Write these labels and assumptions on a poster with a yellow highlighter. Leave about six inches at the top of the poster to use later.
  2. Each member of the group should select one of the four readings (found below) about different speech communities.
    1. Study the samples and rules in the reading for the speech community you selected. Think about the relationships in the sample and rules provided and the assumptions you included on your poster.
    2. Read and think about the quotations and questions that connect the speech community reading to who you are as a person and your responsibilities as a teacher.
  3. As a group, read aloud the quotation at the bottom of each reading page and discuss your thoughts about the readings. At the end of the discussion, summarize the readings and what you learned by creating one take away statement(s) with your group. Write your group’s take away statement(s) above the assumptions on your poster using a black marker. Be prepared to share this idea with the class.


1. Latino Dialect 

2. Classroom Dialect

3. Appalachian Dialect

4. African American Dialect 


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