African Americans have viewed literacy as a key to upward mobility and freedom since before America’s Reconstruction Era. However, African American’s academic achievement continues to be plagued by the ever-widening achievement gap especially when their literacy skills are measured by standardized assessments that do not consider or value their culture, their experiences It is common to think that this is an issue in K-12 settings. However, research and practical experiences suggest that African American students’ achievement continues to be affected at the post-secondary level where they are likely to be taught by faculty who have limited experience with the nuances of Black English (or African American Vernacular English AAVE). This book steps into that gap by offering a resource for teaching speakers of AAVE at the post-secondary level.
What I Learned and What I Learnt: Teaching English While Honoring Language and Culture at a Predominantly Black Institution is edifying scholarship that explores the important connection between race, class and literacy. Williams and Magras combine history, pedagogy and activist education to provide a seminal text on African American literacy and the strategies needed to insure student readiness and success. Well researched and comprehensive, What I Learned and What I Learnt is necessary for all educators.
Chapter 1: Unpacking the History of African American Vernacular English
Chapter 2: Teacher Perceptions of Their Students Who Speak African American Vernacular English
Chapter 3: Closing the Gap: Connecting Students and Partnering AAVE and Collegiate Composition
Chapter 4: Pedagogical Techniques for Teaching AAVE Speakers
Chapter 5: What We Learned and What We Learnt
IndexAbout the Authors