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Students' Rights to Their Own Language - Essay Example

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Since time immemorial, the number of immigrants entering the United States of America has grown tremendously. Some are native English speakers while others speak Spanish, French, Germans, among other languages…
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Students Rights to Their Own Language
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Download file to see previous pages Considering America is an English-speaking nation, the language of teaching, writing and giving any education instruction is preferably English. Immigrant Parents advocate for their children to learn the English language because it is the language of opportunities in America, where they reside (Goode Web). They argue that teaching the students in their native languages will jeopardize the student’s chances in the job market where the English language is dominant. This notion is however, facing criticism with some parties arguing that students should reserve the right to their own patterns and varieties of language while writing their academic work. Therefore, there have been arguments and counter arguments for and against the policy statement adopted by the National Council of Teachers of English in 1974, Students Right to Their Own Language. This paper briefly discusses pros and cons of National Council of Teachers of English policy on language and then supports the statement. The use of one’s language in communication is a complicated phenomenon. The way we speak and the way we write our academic works is largely different. In recent times, uniformity manifests between the two although much success is in the offing in accommodating communication in diverse dialects as proposed in the statement. The use of the written English faces criticism from the inclusive American minorities who have proposed a shift from this norm. A dialect is a language used by a defined group of people. The diversity in dialects is because of different age or educational groups that people belong (CCCC 5). As such, most speakers profess more than one dialect, which pose a great challenge to America’s education sector. Since a dialect closely relates to a culture, accepting a new dialect is like accepting a new culture and the reverse is true. Thus, switching a dialect is a complicated issue. A rejection of any dialect in favor of the American dialect is an act of discrimination and exertion of dominance over less prevalent dialects. Indeed, the success of any speaker cannot be defined by dialect. Undeniably, the right to student’s native dialects deserves respect. Additionally, as individuals tend to maturity, they incline to their language patterns, which are difficult to change (CCCC 7). In fact, the idea of forcing an adolescent to learn the Standard English dialect is a hard assignment that might work against them while competing with students who are naturally fluent in the English language. For the purposes of fairness, the students should use their own dialect in academic work. Similarly, no dialect is good to dismiss others in general use. Therefore, the plural student society will require multiple languages to address the education curriculum needs. Another challenge that resides in the Edited American English (EAE) is the ability to write. The EAE requires a lot of precision in writing, spelling, punctuations, and interpretation. It warrants competence to learn how to speak and write a different dialect fluently. Hence, students should use the dialect they are fluent in speaking, writting, and interpreting in their academic work. Additionally, the dialect that students use in reading does not affect the interpreted meaning of any piece of an academic work since reading involves decoding the meaning and not decoding the utterances (CCCC 9). Hence, the adoption by National Council of Teachers of English in 1974, on the Students Right to Their Own Language, was relevant (NCTE Web). To achieve ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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