Language News: Jamaica attempts to address Creole status

Around the world, the languages of people who have a low status in their community are generally disparaged.  This complicates educational interactions considerably.  Jamaica, which has a rich linguistic history which includes several colonial languages in addition to the native languages which were already there when Europeans arrived, is still coming to terms with how to fairly address linguistic differences.  You can read local coverage of their attempts to insure that people who speak Jamaican Creole are treated fairly and responsibly in terms of education, healthcare, and government access here:

JamaicaObserver.com Mobile.

 

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About LingEducator

Dr. Jaclyn Ocumpaugh received a PhD for her dissertation on regional variation in the acoustics of Mexican American English (Michigan State University, East Lansing). Before that, she received an MA in English/Linguistics from North Carolina State University for her work on the acoustics of /r/--a sound which is highly variable in the English language. Her passion, however, has always been to understand the social implications of language variation. In addition to her work in acoustic sociophonetics, she has worked with rape trial analysis, developed cognitive methods for understanding discourse level variation between men and women, and created sophisticated tools for teaching future educators about the kinds of dialect variation they will find in the classroom. She has taught classes in English, Linguistics, and Education at Old Dominion University, William & Mary, the University of Mary Washington, and Virginia Wesleyan College. She is currently a Post Doctoral Fellow of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is helping to develop models of student engagement in the classroom. She also consults in the private sector.
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