During your study group, discuss the following questions with your fellow participants. After you have completed your study group discussion, email any lingering questions you have to the presenter.

  1. What is your opinion of the names that have been used to describe African-American English over the years? Do you really believe that names matter? Why or why not?
  2. How would you define the term “Standard English” in your own words? Compare your definition to those of your fellow study group members. What new insights have you gained?
  3. During the presentation, you learned that African-American English is spoken primarily, but not exclusively, by African-Americans. What does this really mean in terms of language use by African-Americans and non-African-Americans? Do all African-Americans speak AAE? Who other than African-Americans speaks AAE?
  4. Why do you believe it is important (or not important) for ESL instructors to know about African-American English?

Estimated time for this activity: 1 hour