College of Arts and Sciences | The Ebonics Controversy
E103 | 17173 | Davis
COLL-E103 17173 The Ebonics Controversy (Stuart Davis) (A & H) (3
12:20PM - 1:10PM MW
See Schedule of Classes for discussion section times
This course deals with the controversy concerning Ebonics (African
American Vernacular English). The controversy has several different
aspects which impact social, educational, and linguistic issues.
The class takes an academic perspective on the topic in which we
examine and try to understand various aspects of the controversy.
What is Ebonics? Is it a separate language, a dialect, slang, bad
grammar, or really not a distinct entity? Are its origins traceable
to the language systems of Africa, or is it a variant of Southern
English? How do different people in society view Ebonics and why do
they have those views?
Finally, 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 mainstream
English, or should Ebonics be used as a vehicle for learning
mainstream English? This course deals with these and other issues
through readings, films, group discussions, writing assignments, and
lectures. Grading is based on homework assignments, discussion
participation, and three exams.