understanding the role of african american english at the university

orlando taylor, Ph.D.

October 6, 2009

Video Segments

  1. What are some common misconceptions about African American English?
  2. What is African American English?
  3. How has African American English evolved?
  4. How can AAE-speakers master Standard English?
  5. What should faculty do to assist speakers of AAE?



In this video, Professor of Communication Dr. Orlando Taylor defines African American English (AAE) and dispels common misconceptions about it.  After providing examples of AAE’s vocabulary and syntax, he concludes that AAE is a legitimate tongue, but AAE-speakers still need to master Standard English.   However, he insists, Standard English does not mean "white English.”  In fact, he advocates the use of what he calls "African American Standard English" and calls on educators to abandon the traditional “Correction Model” of pedagogy for a “Bidialectal Model” that promotes “code-switching” between AAE and Standard English.   He also urges university researchers to develop an evidence-based pedagogy for empowering AAE-speakers to master the standard.