Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

Paper presented at the National Black Child Institute Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



There is no better way to teach African-American children than through their dialect. Yet, American schools generally respond to the language needs of black youth inappropriately. This conference presentation focuses on appropriate educational practices that support the language and cognitive development of African-American children, and the ways in which special education, speech, and language professionals can work with teachers to alter black children's school environments. The introduction, Part I (Ruby Burgess), emphasizes the influence of cultural differences on students' success or failure in school. Part II (Nola Burl) delineates characteristics of the multidisciplinary team approach and implications for language intervention with black children. Discussion concerns the present implementation of the approach and the role of the speech-language pathologist as a multidisciplinary team member in establishing practices that support black children's language acquisition. The section concludes with an overview of current perspectives on language that are consistent with a multicultural perspective. Part III (Ralph Calhoun) explores the role of the special educator as it relates to language instruction and advocacy for African-American children. Concluding comments summarize goals and directions for multicultural education and list critical actions that need to be taken in implementing nonracist practices.

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