Understanding sociolinguistics allows educators to recognize the ways in which any and all aspects of society – generational differences, community and regional characteristics, historical transmission, occupation, cultural norms, race, ethnicity, class, gender, multilingualism, context for use, etc. – affect an individual’s language practices (Labov, 1966; Trudgill, 1974). According to sociolinguists, language is not simply a means of communicating information; it is a means of establishing and maintaining relationships (Trudgill, 1974). At the core of our language is our identity – our language reveals who we are and where we’re from. In this session, participants will explore concepts from Lisa Delpit’s work, The Skin that We Speak and discuss the ways in which schools often position students to grapple with language and identity, particularly when their primary language practices are different from Standard American English. Using video vignettes, we will interrogate the ideological underpinnings of additive and subtractive language practices and consider ways to approach language differences in the classroom. Act 48 credits are available to participants upon completion of the workshop. This session will not be recorded.
Intended Audience: K-12 content teachers; K-12 ESL Specialists; school and district administrators
Instructor: Andrea G. Kolb, Statewide Multilingual Education Project Manager, Center for Schools and Communities