Monday, October 23, 2006

Home Codes

"Critical Inquiries into Language in an Urban Classroom" by Bob Fecho, talks about students home codes and the effect on their learning of Standard English. When students come to school and are told that the way they talk at home with their families is wrong and they must change, is the start of many problems. I had never thought that it would be difficult for students to go to school and learn Standard English. I went to school and did what I was told but it had no effect on my home life or where I had come from. I don't know if I could have abandoned everything I knew like some students are expected to.

In the first part of Fecho's article he tells us a story of a senior who gives a presentation with a "naturalness" in her speech. Her grammar and vocabulary choices "matched the expectations of the audience" and they were more receptive to her because of this. We as teachers have to know where students are coming from to know how to teach them correctly. Students have to be critical inquirers of their language and know themselves where they come from. As Delpit said educators must veiw their classrooms as sites where inquiry into culture takes place. Teachers can't ignore culture, and must let students "celebrate their home-codes."


Blogger Cindy O-A said...

Did it help to see how Delpit's ideas played out in an actual classroom? It sounds as if it did.

I think that most middle-class teachers don't consider many of these issues because, like you, they didn't necessarily have to struggle with the differences between their home discourse and their school discourse.

Now that you're aware, how will this affect your work with your students?

10:22 AM  

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