Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)




It is considered by many linguists that all Americans speak an "astandard" English dialect. Field workers have for decades been involved in the task of interviewing people to determine regional dialects, the conclusion being that each dialect is a bona fide language system." However, an important point is that although there is a great diversity in oral language, there is only one accepted written form. (syntax and spelling). One of the most prominent of these divergent patterns is the Black non-Standard (BNS) language with which this paper will be concerned. The BNS language does not represent a failure to learn the rules of Standard English, but rather is an equally highly structured system with rules of its own. Yet, written language corresponds to Standard English rules. The BNS speaking person is exposed to language in conflicting ways. He learns to speak the language accepted by his home and peers. Aurally he is exposed to informal Standard English through school and the media (television, radio, movies). Visually, the materials he is presented to read are formal Standard English. As a result the question might be asked as to whether these conflicting presentations interfere with the achievement of this divergent speaker.

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