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For more than 50 years, the field of linguistics has recognized the equality of human languages, including all dialects of all languages. In this study we examine how current popular public speaking textbooks handle issues of linguistic variation in English. We looked specifically at textbook discussions of accent, grammar and pronunciation. Unfortunately, we have found the majority of textbooks we examined serve to maintain the outdated “deficit” model of language variation, to the detriment of students.


Originally published in the Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America, 5(1). 369–383. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

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