Article/Report  |   April 2004
Grade-Related Changes in the Production of African American English
Author Notes
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language
Article/Report   |   April 2004
Grade-Related Changes in the Production of African American English
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research April 2004, Vol.47, 450-463. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/036)
History: Accepted 31 Aug 2003 , Received 27 Mar 2003
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research April 2004, Vol.47, 450-463. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/036)
History: Accepted 31 Aug 2003 , Received 27 Mar 2003

This investigation examined grade as a source of systematic variation in the African American English (AAE) produced by students in preschool through fifth grades. Participants were 400 typically developing African American boys and girls residing in low- or middle-income homes in an urban-fringe community or midsize central city in the metropolitan Detroit area. Between preschoolers and kindergartners, and between first through fifth graders, there were no significant differences in the amounts of dialect produced during a picture description language elicitation context. However, there was a significant downward shift in dialect production at first grade. Students who evidenced dialect shifting outper-formed their nonshifting peers on standardized tests of reading achievement and vocabulary breadth.

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