Appalachian Dialects at School: Deficit? Difference? Asset? is the topic that Jeffrey Reaser, Ph.D., Author and Professor of English Linguistics at North Carolina State University is to speak on in his lecture Friday, October 29, 2021, at Shawnee State University. The lecture will be held at 3:00 p.m. at the Clark Memorial Library Flohr Lecture Hall there at the University.
Dr. Reaser is a professor of English linguistics at North Carolina State University, where he directs the English teacher education and linguistics programs and co-directs the Language and Life Project. He has written four books, including Dialects at School and Critical Language Pedagogy, and more than twenty research articles. He has been recognized for his outstanding research, teaching, advising and mentoring, including the 2014 North Carolina Book Award, NC State’s Lifetime Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, and the 2020 National Council of Teachers of English award for outstanding research. He has also worked on numerous documentary projects, including the Emmy-winning program, Talking Black in America.
Language, perhaps more than any other discipline, is fundamental to all academic pursuits. Unfortunately, widespread beliefs persist about the academic abilities of people who speak what are often called “non-mainstream dialects,” including Appalachian English. Research from over fifty years ago demonstrates these assumptions are baseless; however, there is no denying the linguistic deficit beliefs persist in American educational contexts, and the educational ramifications of these beliefs are severe. Accordingly, linguists have worked to integrate scientific information about language into teacher education programs, professional development, and in classroom interventions. This talk examines some of the historical and current initiatives aimed at bringing linguistic information and educational interventions into Appalachian contexts.
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