Date of Defense



Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies


A vast number of students who attend urban schools come to school with different language styles than the formal English readily accepted by society. These students simply speak and write in the language that has been used in their home throughout their childhood and instilled as part of their identity. It is certainly necessary, for these students especially, to have a grasp of formal English patterns. Formal English (sometimes referred to as Standard English (SE)) is required on job applications, in interviews, and when working with colleagues in the job setting. My job as a teacher will be to bridge the gap between my students' informal language patterns and the formal patterns they must know to succeed. This thesis looks at the language patterns of a group of fourth grade students in an urban setting, and examines what best practice should look like when helping these students learn formal English.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only