The Oakland Ebonics Debate: Implications for Speech, Language, Hearing Professionals and Scholars From the very beginning, a number of speech, language, and hearing professionals have been actively involved in the Oakland Ebonics debate. For example, in January 1996, Orlando Taylor and I were invited to speak to black educators in the Oakland, California area on the issue of Ebonics. We were ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 1997
The Oakland Ebonics Debate: Implications for Speech, Language, Hearing Professionals and Scholars
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Toya A. Wyatt
    Department of Speech Communication California State University, Fullerton
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   October 01, 1997
The Oakland Ebonics Debate: Implications for Speech, Language, Hearing Professionals and Scholars
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, October 1997, Vol. 4, 15-18. doi:10.1044/lle4.2.15
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, October 1997, Vol. 4, 15-18. doi:10.1044/lle4.2.15
From the very beginning, a number of speech, language, and hearing professionals have been actively involved in the Oakland Ebonics debate. For example, in January 1996, Orlando Taylor and I were invited to speak to black educators in the Oakland, California area on the issue of Ebonics. We were asked to participate in a 2-hour debate with three other African-American language scholars (two linguists and one educator) on the issue of whether Ebonics constituted a separate language or a dialect of English. We were also asked to offer our own perspectives on the term that should be used for referring to this linguistic code. The debate took place as part of Oakland’s 16th Annual Standard English Proficiency (SEP) Symposium, an annual conference sponsored by black educators from the Northern California Bay area who have been actively involved in California’s SEP program. The SEP program, which has been in existence in California for a number of years, focuses on helping African-American children master Standard American English (SAE).
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