Comparison of Targeted Nonstandard English Features in Spoken and Written Language
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The purpose of this study was to compare the spoken and written forms of standard and nonstandard English used by a group of fifth grade specifically learning disabled (SLD) students in a public elementary school in southeast Wisconsin. Targeted language features which tend to differ in standard and nonstandard English were examined. Those features were the use of the copula, the formation of plurals, the formation of possessives, and the pronunciation and spelling of the word ask. Data were gathered on tape during individual interviews and class discussions from a multicultural group of SLD students. Writing samples were taken from journals and from written answers to a set of questions. The results of this study showed that these students usually used the standard English forms of the targeted language features in both speaking and writing. This information was contradictory to what was usually seen and heard in the classroom, therefore some possible reasons for the atypical use of standard English under these conditions were discussed. Suggestions for further research in the areas of standard and nonstandard English were given.
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