Speed Theorizing: Should English Teachers Be Language Cops In The Classroom?

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Speed Theorizing: Should English Teachers be “Language Cops” in the Classroom? If teachers act as the “language police” in their classrooms, how do they decide what is considered a violation and what is considered within acceptable bounds? Who decides what language is within the acceptable bounds? When teachers avoid being “language cops,” are they hurting their students by deemphasizing standard English that is prominent in the world? These are questions that need to be acknowledged by educators in order for there to be a significant change in how students’ home languages are perceived and welcomed into the curriculum. I think the answer to whether or not teachers should be “language cops” rests somewhere in the middle. Another question that comes to mind is, when do teachers allow students to express themselves using their home language and when do they make the shift to teaching students the way to construct the “cash language” that they will need to use inside and outside of the classroom? As a perspective teacher, I have learned numerous ways that we can welcome students’ own voices in the classroom to express their thoughts and feelings. One of the ways is to give them the freedom to write the way they think is by allowing them to use their own language, dialect, and register. As a result the opportunity to explore…show more content…
By performing this step, they are learning how to “switch in and out of the language of power,” which is expected to be used on standardized tests, and many other places where they will be judged upon their language use (102). I think that teachers should point out that there are numerous ways to use language and all of them are correct; however, we must be able to determine the appropriate outlets to use them in because standard English is the “cash language”
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