Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I'm done...I mean finished

Well the big midterm is over, and while I'm not sure how I did, I will say that I think I've learned more grammar studying for this midterm than I learned in all four years of high school combined. I don't know if I regurgitated it correctly, but I actually think for once I internalized some of the rules rather than simply memorizing them for the test. Regardless (not to be confused with irregardless... which is apparently not a real word) of the grade I get, I am semi-proud of myself. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for my Physics test, but that's a whole new can of worms.

On a separate note, studying for this test and my linguistics test made me fight myself all over again about my faith in the necessity of a standard. On the one hand, I think that annoying as they are, grammar rules and syntax are somewhat needed so that no matter what dialect we may speak, we will all be able to understand laws, read news articles, and write academically. However, after studying AAVE (African American Vernacular English) and discussing the topic of "can't even speak english" in my classes, I'm torn on whose standards we should use or if we need one at all. Another thing that I can not help but question is the idea of language in the classroom. Should teachers start accepting dialects and unique grammar usage as part of students' culture and generation, or should they fight it in order to help the student gain credibility with the majority? Should schools hire teachers with heavy accents even if students complain that they are having trouble understanding and therefore feel they aren't learning as much? Questions like this get me every time because I believe that everyone should have an equal playing field, but sometimes I can't figure out how to make that possible. I enjoy the fact that we don't all speak the same language (and those that do don't all speak it the same way), and I hate the idea of conformity; however i keep wondering if in some ways it is necessary.

No comments: