"A Student's Right to Their Own Language" Interpretive Essay

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Chelsea T
Should Students be Able to Use the Dialect They Choose?
The Conference on College Composition and Communication discusses two very important and controversial questions within their article “Students’ Right to Their Own Language”: “What should the schools do about the language habits of students who come from a wide variety of social, economic, and cultural backgrounds?” (2), and “Should the schools try to uphold language variety, or to modify it, or to eradicate it?” (2). While for academic writing purposes students should be expected to use standard American dialect, it is important to respect the diversity and various heritages throughout the country by allowing students to use the dialect they choose when speaking.

Standard American dialect should be expected in academic writing. The standard American dialect can be defined as using proper English and conventions, such as spelling, sentence fluency, and punctuation. Though many people may perceive this as racism because they are unable to express themselves through their own culture and are forced to adapt the language of the dominant standard American culture, people living in the United States of America, should be educated on the standard dialect and obtain the ability to understand how to incorporate that into their text. The knowledge of standard American dialect should be required in order to create a standardized writing system and academic world in addition to generating a consistent grading scale. While teachers and academic scholars are the main targeted audience for the formal academic pieces published by students, they should be held to high standards to consistently use standard American dialect. “Students’ Right to Their Own Language” expresses that “We need to ask ourselves whether our rejection of students who do not adopt the dialect most familiar to us is based on any real merit in our dialect or whether we are actually rejecting the students themselves, rejecting them...
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