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Title:What does it mean to sound African American? Teachers' perceptions of school-age children's communication
Author(s):Hamilton, Megan-Brette
Director of Research:DeThorne, Laura S
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):DeThorne, Laura S
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hengst, Julie; Jarrett, Robin L; Johnson, Cynthia J; Mills, Monique T
Department / Program:Speech & Hearing Science
Discipline:Speech & Hearing Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):African American English
speech-language pathologist
Abstract:Using a framework of language ideologies, this mixed-methods study examined teachers' perceptions of nonmainstream dialect, specifically looking at African American English (AAE). Eighty-one total teachers from the local school district listened to four different speech stimuli (elementary school-aged) enacted in either African American English or Mainstream American English using a matched-guise design within two different child actors. After listening to the four speech stimuli, teachers provided their first impression of each child's academic and personality on the Teacher Perception Rating Questionnaire (TPRQ), a 5-point Likert scale. Afterwards, approximately one-fourth of the teachers from three of the sites participated in focus group interviews to discuss their impressions of the stimuli and cultural linguistic differences more broadly. Key findings integrated across data sources revealed that teachers perceive speakers of the AAE v. MAE stimuli differently if the paralinguistics of the presented dialects differed. Second, teachers continue to privilege MAE within the academic setting, in part because they see it as their job to prepare children for success on standardized assessments and in society at large. Whether intentional or otherwise, school currently serves as a vehicle for perpetuating standard language ideologies that denigrate AAE.
Issue Date:2016-07-12
Rights Information:All Rights Reserved
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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