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Teaching and Learning


Miranda Lin

Mentor Department

Teaching and Learning


The purpose of this study was to see how teachers can naturally integrate African American Language (AAL) into their classrooms without creating the cultural barrier that normally follows with AAL. Research shows that correcting AAL speakers can negatively impact their learning abilities (Lee, 31). Students will begin to shut down and not participate during class time. When AAL speakers are corrected, they also lose the confidence to speak in a social setting, which is crucial for language development. According to the National Council of Teachers of English,there are several goals for AAL students. For example, to value students’ cultural-linguistic heritage, maintain black identity, enhance their command of Language of Wider Communication, and master critical reading, writing, and speaking skills. Many teachers have tried to incorporate the strategy of Code-Switching into the classroom. Still, research shows the Code-Switching approach implies a racist and segregationist response to the language habits of African Americans. However, the newer strategy of Code-Meshing is seen as being more effective in the classroom. Code-Meshing attempts to embrace the globalized and diverse world we live in by combining local dialects of English with Standard World English on assignments and activities inside the classroom (Lee, 166). After analyzing the literature, the implications of the study include teachers implementing code-meshing to their lesson planning by using Code Meshing to remix a text.Further, a positive and inclusive environment in the classroom requires more than just integrating different dialects into lesson plans. Some ideas to include AAL in the classroom are providing AAL books in the classroom library and having posters and decorations that include the African American dialect. Nevertheless, the first step to integrate AAL into a classroom is to make the students feel comfortable enough to express themselves freely, the other factors will then naturally follow. Integrating other dialects into a classroom is never easy. However, it is necessary for the success of our students.


This project has not received IRB approval.

Using African American Language in the Classroom to Affirm Language Diversity

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