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Deficit Theory, Dialect Barriers,

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Samantha Nottingham

on 2 December 2014

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Transcript of Deficit Theory, Dialect Barriers,

Deficit Theory, Dialect Barriers, and ELL School Success
Deficit Theory
Dialect Barriers to Reading Comprehension
Immigrants, English, & School Success
"Claims that children from disadavantaged populations are intellectually disadvantaged as a result of inferior linguistic development."

-Differences in language system are more symbolic in that they represent social class stratification.

-Verbal elaboration is unnecessary, although expected

"I would argue that we ought not judge our students' verbal proficiency unless we give them tasks that would provide a valid demonstration of that proficiency."

Basal Reading Programs
-Teachers expect complete sentences in response to questions that would be sufficient with concise answers.
-Complete sentences, in daily social interactions, would be redundant.
"We must differentiate between
incompetence and

-Expectation of children from "other worlds" to be knowledgable about "our world."

-"...the ability to process and produce a text requires implicit knowledge about the rules of the linguistic system."
"...that speakers of low-status dialects of English have much higher rates of reading failure than high-status dialect speakers."

-Instruction based on rejection of linguistic difference is the major problem

-Research done in Detroit, Michigan area
-As a result, most of the students were black
-"If [they] say in reading what [they] would say in speaking, [they are] producing an expected response."

-Expected response VS. observed response

-When doing study, researchers did not count phonological variants as miscues, only inflection, grammar, or vocabulary.
-Their studies showed that despite phonological variants, student comprehension did not change.
Basal Reading Programs again?

-Programs frequently ignored all dialect differences

-Dialect-involved miscues do not interfere with the reading process or the construction of meaning, since they move to the reader's own dialect.
-"[Low-status urban speakers] learn to understand dialects other than their own in the larger community."

-Acquire receptive control over those dialects though may never change the way they speak.
There are many factors influencing ESL students and their struggle to succeed
-Length of time for students to learn grade level English
-Most are behind by at least four years
-Basic Interpersonal Communcative Skill
-Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency

Many programs have been constructed to aid English language learning students
-ESL, Transitional Bilingual Education, and Dual Immersion
-Often times, parents and students think negatively about ESL classes
-Some students saw benefits, others didn't
Bilingual Education has been found to be superior to the immersion program.
"Avoid the temptation to label children
as being verbally inept when their
language does not conform to our own
linguistic models."
Urban dialect English
"Rejection, then, and not dialect differences, is the problem educators must overcome to remove the school imposed disadvantage."
Why is that?
Students found that having some sort of translator helped them associate words and concepts in English with their own language more effectively.
-Powell, Rebecca G. (1989) Johnny can't talk either: The perpetuation of the deficit theory in classrooms. In M. Opitz, editor, Literacy instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse students. (pp. 21-26). Colorado: International Reading Association.
-Goodman, Kenneth S., & Buck, Katherine. (1973). Dialect barriers to reading comprehension revisited. In M. Opitz, editor, Literacy instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse students. (pp. 139-145). Colorado: International Reading Association.
-Gunderson, Lee. (2006). But she speaks english!. In Robert T. Jimenez & Valerie Ooka Pang, editors. Race, ethnicity, and education. (pp. 3-20). Westport, connecticut: Praegar perspectives.
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