Julie Washington’s Quest to Get Schools to Respect African-American English

In his article in the Atlantic, William Brennan describes the efforts of speech pathologist Julie Washington to have schools implement code-switching between the dialect of African American English and standard English in teaching reading and in closing the black-white literacy gap.  She hopes to avoid the opposition faced by earlier proponents of Ebonics. “In presenting code-switching lessons as a way to ward off catastrophic reading failure, she says, advocates have failed to convey the upsides of speaking African-American English. In a recent paper, Washington points to research showing that fluent speakers of two dialects might benefit from some of the cognitive advantages that accrue to speakers of two languages.”  Read the complete article by clicking here.

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