Greetings! It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Rethinking Language: Professional Development for K-12 Educators. This site is designed for practicing educators who desire to expand their appreciation and understanding of English Language Variations to better serve all students, particularly students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds.
It is a fact that schools have been (and is becoming) more diverse than ever before. Currently, scholars (Boutte & Johnson, 2012; Laman, 2013) suggests that one in five children speak a language other than English. By 2050, public schools are projected to serve more students who speak languages other than standard or standardized English (Au et al, 2013). While schools have been (and are becoming) more diverse, the teaching profession yet consists of predominantly White, middle-class, monolingual, females (Bryan & Ford, in press; Laman, 2013). Such cultural mismatch suggests that most public school teachers are not prepared to serve the students they teach (Ladson-Billings, 2009; Milner, 2010). In other words, they are unable to make those cultural and linguistic connections deemed appropriate to aid in closing the achievement gaps that have been perpetuated by historical educational neglect and inequities (Delpit, 2009).
As a critical scholar, I problematize dominantly-held ideologies in regards to language and standard language policies that have negatively impacted children who have been historically marginalized. It is my duty to ensure that we create equitable learning spaces for all children and that we value the linguistic capital children bring to schools (Laman, 2013). It is not just my duty, but it is our duty!
This website serves as a point of departure from traditional linguistic frameworks and models, and assists me in my quest to aid practicing educators come to a critical understanding of language and language variations. As you navigate this site, I hope it provides you the essential informational tools, instructional resources, and professional development opportunities you seek to further your understanding of such important but understudied topics on language and language variations.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Educationally and Linguistically yours,
Nathaniel Bryan, Ed.D. Clinical Assistant Professor University of South Carolina