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Why Ebonics Shouldn’t Be Taught in Schools

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Julio Tapia

Mrs. Dahlin

English 101

April 10, 2012

Why Ebonics shouldn’t be taught in Schools

“What’s wrong with Black English?” written by Yoko Koga. The purpose of this Essay was to try and explain why many people abandon their languages, although her main focus was mostly on Black English. In Tokyo some people imitate African Americans in America in many different ways. They imitate their clothing, dancing, and fashion and portray it in public every day. Koga states that the reason America is loved by people of Japan is because of its diversity. Then she came to learn that there’s a debate between educators on whether they should teach black children Standard English or Black English. Koga argues that we all have basic rights and teaching Ebonics would build their self-esteem. Ebonics is a language which I consider to be more like slang that comes from America but is used by African Americans. The language is spoken where there is a larger population of Blacks. Not all of African Americans use Ebonics, in my opinion it depends where and how they grew up. Well Koga suggests Ebonics should be taught in school I personally would have to disagree, but I do agree with her that students should be taught about their cultures and by doing so the students wouldn’t feel separated from one another.

I personally think that by teaching Ebonics in school would be pointless. Yes it may help a student succeed and feel more comfortable in grade school, but what’s going to happen when they graduate and try to get a job and cannot speak appropriately in an interview? What if these students cannot succeed in college, reason being they don’t speak Standard English? For example, when a person is trying to get a job, no one will hire them if there speaking in Ebonics. Many employers look for well educated people who talk the proper way. I’m not saying that all people who speak Ebonics aren’t well educated; I’m saying that a person will more likely get hired if they talk the proper way. Let’s be realistic one can’t walk into an interview demanding to get a job well speaking the same way they talk to their “homies” in the street. The interview is going to end well before it starts.

I personally come from a community where it is mostly populated with Hispanics. Yes, some people here struggle with Standard English and the second and third generation struggle with Spanish. With that being said my parents taught me Spanish as a child well before I started school. I went to school and that’s where I picked up my Standard English. At school all we talked was English while at home we spoke Spanish to one another. As time went by I usually caught myself using Spanglish. Spanglish is a mix between Spanish and English. I usually do this when I can’t pronounce a word in Spanish so I mix it up with English without anyone even knowing for example, "Me voy a wakeup" (I am going to wake up). I consider Spanglish and Ebonics to be very similar for the reason being that I wouldn’t consider them as languages but slang instead. I’m not trying to say that just because it shouldn’t be taught in school that you should abandon your primary language. I think that a person should be proud of their culture, language, and that they should express it anyway they’d like. After all, isn’t that what America is all about? Welcoming multiply cultures no matter the ethnicity, race, or religion. “America starts denying it’s diversity by unifying its languages, it means it denies its history and the spirit of the country” (555). Yes we all have diversity but I think a person who can manage never losing their own culture, language, and still be able to speak Standard English is what makes an American.



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