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Preston Williams English 1101 Professor Rieman November 12, 2012 SRTOL Personal Statement: I believe in a students right to their own language. With the opportunities offered in America, we have lots of people coming to our country to study and find a job here. We need to be aware of these individuals. The predisposition that one dialect is better than another points to the effort of one social group going along with the status quo and saying standard English is all that is tolerated because its always been that way. For the business world, however, it is beneficial for these non-Standard dialects to conform in order to be successful. This is not to say that they should give up their culture. This just means that they may need it to function in America.
Comment [J2]: Two questions: 1) is it the dialects that you suggest are to conform or the people who speak those dialects? 2) what do you want people to conform to? Comment [J3]: Does your statement also apply to students who are native English speakers and who have a variety of dialects? Comment [J1]: How about a more descriptive title? You have not included your self-assessment.

Geographic reasons for dialects: There are many reasons that dialects can form. One of which is geographic reasons. One way geography can affect the dialects that form is through natural boundaries. Natural boundaries


like rivers, lakes, mountains, and valleys can separate groups of speakers and determine the routes they take and where they settle (such as Sea Islands off the Carolina coast). Settlement is also a way that geography contributes to dialects. North American dialectal differences can be traced back to dialect differences that existed in the British Isles. These settlements went in phases: Phase 1: move into area with attractive environment, original culture Phase 2: occupy all land, new cultural identity, cohesive society (may lead toelimination of established cultures, e.g. Native Americans) Phase 3: regional populations define themselves with respect to others (culture,commerce, transportation), localized with unique identity Different settlers came from everywhere around to the world to America. During the 1600s Scotland and there Northumbrian dialect settled in America. Ireland settled in 1200. The first crucial settlements in North America were in the 17th century. South African dialects came to the front in about 1820. Waless dialects trace back to their settlement in the mid-19th century. Today, we have immigrants coming from countries that never settled in America when the country was forming. Some have even started coming here in the last decade. I expect that we will see dialects continue to change and maybe even start incorporating foreign dialects from these new incoming countries. The thing about dialects is they are always changing. The dialects we hear today will not be the same in one hundred years. Today, we could contribute more professional dialects to the business world. This may be the reason that dialects are more standard when they are closer
Comment [J5]: If you want to include some background history of the development of US dialects, then thats relevant and fine. Just be sure to be more clear and accurate with your info and to cite your sources. Comment [J4]: Do you get this info from a particular source? If so, be sure to cite it.


to business cities. This business city theory resembles a ripple effect in water. An idea is formed in the city, and it slowly spreads and fades as you leave the city.
Comment [J6]: Im not sure I fully understand your point in this paragraph. Focus back on your statement and use your paper as a way to support what you claim in your statement.

Social Dominance The predisposition that one dialect is better than another points to the effort of one social group going along with the status quo and saying standard English is all that is tolerated because its always been that way. I personally feel that if a group of people were to say that there English is better than another persons, it would be wrong. With that said, I think that the reason the present generation believes there is a Standard English is because that is how it has always been. Our ancestors passed down the theory that there is a certain way of life that is acceptable and thats why we think its acceptable to judge their type of language to be superior to the rest.
Comment [J7]: Ok, so tie this back into what youre trying to do in this paper, which is to show what you think STUDENTs right it to his or her own dialect in the classroom.

Profiling The fact that people profile each other based on the way they speak is wrong. The way someone talks does not clearly illustrate their intelligence. A friend of mine from high school that was in my Physics class spoke a type of English that some people in my high school classified as unintelligent. In reality he was one of the smartest people in the school. He was by far the smartest person in my Physics class. He is now at Georgia Tech on a full scholarship.


This just proves that we should quantify someone as being less intelligent just because of the way they talk.
Comment [J8]: Greta example. Can you use any ideas/quotes from the readings weve done to give more credence to this point?

Linguistics Linguistics, as defined by Merriam-Websters Dictionary, is the study of human speech including the units, nature, structure, and modification of language. The study of linguistics is very important to the present culture especially with the current amount of people coming to America from other countries. While discussing Linguistics in class, I conducted a little experiment just to illustrate the differences in the way people talk in reference to International differences. The experiment consisted of Me, Saeed, and Xinrong. Obviously dialects were not the only differences between us. In fact, the languages we grew up with were different. I grew up with native English here in America. Saeed grew up with Arabic in Saudi Arabia. Xinrong grew up with Mandarin Chinese in China. I asked the group to write a someone went somewhere statement (someone referring to a common name in their country and somewhere being a common name of a place in their country). The results were the following: Me- Tom went to the grocery store. Saeed- Ahmed went to Jeddah. Xinrong- Xiao Ming goes to Xian.


As you can see, not only are there dialectal barriers in todays English, but there are also vocabulary differences.
Comment [J9]: Great use of your own classmates to examine the role of language use! I love that you are thinking of the classroom you operate in as a space to study these ideas. Im not exactly clear how your study proves what you are saying here, so perhaps you can explain this part a bit more.

Business vs. Learning In todays business world, the common dialect that is acceptable is what people call Standard English. Unfortunately, todays corporate America has created its own bias towards people who cannot speak this Standard English. In my opinion, this is wrong. Unfortunately, I dont think that it will ever change. As I mentioned before, the reason our generation continues to say that Standard English is the only English acceptable does not point to one social group trying to exert its dominance over the rest. I believe this generation is just going along with the status quo. The mindsets of these people are that this is how it has always been. The problem with this is that we have a lot of new immigrants who are trying to make it in the corporate world. Not all of them know Standard English but, as we all know, they could be some of the smartest people in the world.
Comment [J11]: Do all Americans who are native speakers of English know Standard English? Do you think this preference for standard English will change with your generation? Comment [J10]: In every business setting?

Dialect Tells a Story One reason that we should not insist on English in school and the business world is because of the way people write. When people write and have a different dialect you are able to tell when you read it. The way they write also tells you a story. It can explain a persons opinion on an issue when you are aware of their background.
Comment [J12]: Having a common language like English is an entirely different thing than making room for a variety of dialects within Englishdont conflate these two issues.


Conclusion In conclusion, I believe in a students right to their own language. Whether it be in the business world or in the classroom, a students native dialect should be understood and dealt with. Although I believe this, corporate America does not. While in school, although I dont like it this way, I think students should have to learn Standard English to be able to survive and get a job in the real world. It the inevitable truth that
Comment [J13]: ?

Preston, I like that you format your paper so clearly herethe sections work well to let your reader know what you are aiming to do at each point in your paper. You have two competing issues here. One is the issue of English as a language spoken in the US and the idea that non-native English speakers move to the US for various reasons; Two it this issue of different dialects spoken within English and how we accommodate for those in the classroom. Here are my revision suggestions: make your statement more clearly focused on students rights to their own English dialect and dont confuse it with languages other than English while paying attention to the classroom. You can certainly recognize the business world and how a schools job can be seen as a place to grow employees, but Id like to see you deal more explicitly with the idea of students, teachers, and dialectical differences before you move into the idea of what the business world expects.


It seems like you have included some information from sources here and you need to make sure you cite that work. Id also encourage you to read back through the other work youve read and written regarding this issue to pull from in this paper. I am happy to talk through these ideas with you. Please write a talk back to my comments and then we can see if this is a paper you want to include in your portfolio.