College Of Arts And Sciences | Ebonics: The Controversy over African-American English
E103 | 0051 | Davis, S


This course deals with the controversy over Ebonics (African American
Vernacular English).  There is the basic question of just what is
Ebonics. Is it a separate language, a dialect, slang, bad grammar, or
really not a distinct entity? There is the issue of its portrayal in
the popular media.  There is also the matter of its origins and
history. Are its origins traceable to the language systems of Africa,
or is it a variant of Southern English? Further, there is a practical
question of how to approach the education of African American
children whose home speech is Ebonics. Should a goal in the education
of these children be the purging of Ebonics so that it does not
interfere with the mastery of Standard English, or should Ebonics be
used as a vehicle for learning Standard English?  This course will
deal with these and other issues through readings, films, group
discussions, writing assignments, and lectures.  The course grade
will be based on homework assignments, discussion participation, and
three exams.