All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lois Christensen

Advisory Committee Members

Martha Barber

Lynn Kirkland

Maryanne Manning

Deborah Strevy

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


A language barrier exists in schools across the United States, and it's not just with students from other countries. It is estimated that over 8 million African American students speak a language which is foreign to many classroom teachers. The dissonance between home and school language has had devastating effects of African American achievement, with regard to literacy and language arts instruction. With a focus on how teacher education programs in post secondary institutions in Alabama are preparing teachers to teach students with diverse dialects, this qualitative research inquiry provides a critical case study of the perceptions of eight early childhood and elementary teachers (representing 3 elementary schools and 4 post secondary institutions in Alabama). This study examines literature surrounding African American language development, and places an emphasis on teachers' perceptions of their professional preparation in Alabama colleges and universities, within the last decade, to teach African American students who speak African American Language - a language variety used by and characteristic of African American children in southeastern Alabama.

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