African-American English in Use

During this fifth and final module of the course, participants will learn how speakers use African-American English and other English varieties. They will examine attitudes toward AAE and their societal impact, discuss how African-American English has diffused throughout the United States, and apply the knowledge they have gained during the course to realistic classroom scenarios.

Module 5 Summary (Slides)

  • The Module 5 summary includes concise information that highlights key points and will guide participants through the module. The summary clearly indicates how much time will be spent on each component and activity.

This module’s estimated workload: 6 to 8 hours

Module 5 Learning Objectives

After completing this module, participants will:

  1. Understand the concepts of bidialectalism, code-switching, and diglossia in the context of AAE and SE
  2. Explore attitudes toward AAE as a legitimate language variety, including in employment and education
  3. Know how the Great Migration diffused AAE throughout the United States
  4. Be able to identify parts of Miami where AAE is the predominant variety of English
  5. Acquire and practice strategies for applying their new knowledge of AAE to answer ESL students’ questions about AAE in appropriate, effective, and sensitive ways

Essential Questions Addressed in Module 5

  • How do speakers of AAE navigate communicative encounters in various social settings?
  • How do attitudes toward AAE as a legitimate variety of English impact speakers of AAE and society at large, especially in employment and education?
  • What was the Great Migration and how did it affect where AAE is spoken?
  • How can participants use their knowledge of AAE to answer students’ questions about AAE in use?

Resources for Module 5

Module 5 Activities

Module 5 Lesson Plan (165 minute presentation and discussion)

1. Introduction (10 minutes)
2. Explaining and exploring the concepts of bidialectalism, code-switching and diglossia in the context of AAE and SE (20 minutes)
3. Sharing personal experiences navigating multiple languages and/or language varieties (20 minutes)
4. Activity 5.1: How Much Does It Cost You in Wages if You “Sound Black” (20 minutes)
5. Activity 5.2: The Great Migration (20 minutes)
6. Parts of Miami where AAE is the dominant variety of English (10 minutes)
7. Strategies for using knowledge of AAE to answer students’ questions (10 minutes)
8. Activity 5.3: Answering Students’ Questions about African-American English (30 minutes)
9. Wrap-up, independent research project and study group assignments, and exit ticket (10 minutes)
10. Final Course Evaluation (15 minutes)