Pre-service and in-service teachers of English language arts, and specialists in early childhood, reading and writing, speech language pathology, special education, and language studies. This book describes dialect differences in American English and their impact on education and everyday life. Curiosity about language variation and the role that dialects play in society is natural. In education, the current awareness that America's students represent a rich array of linguistic and cultural resources raises this topic again, with many of the issues from the past still unresolved. Dialects in Schools and Communities addresses this natural interest and educational concern about dialects by exploring some of the major issues that confront educational practitioners--dialect and communicative differences in spoken and written language, dialects and reading, and dialects and testing. The authors suggest what practitioners can do to recognize students' language abilities, support their language development, and expand their knowledge about dialects. The book is rooted in issues that have arisen in workshops, surveys, classes, and discussion groups with practitioners and teacher educators. It synthesizes current understandings from empirical research, provides examples of dialect contrasts, and lists key references. Thus, this work is a translation and interpretation that brings together the practical concerns of educators and the vantage point of sociolinguistics. Because it does not presuppose a background in linguistics, it fulfills an important need in a range of educational and related service fields. This resource is intended for use by teacher interns and practicing teachers in elementary and secondary education, specialists in reading and writing, speech/language pathologists, and special education teachers. In most of these fields, information about dialects is considered to be an important part of professional preparation, but until now, there has been no text specifically designed to address this need. Practitioners and students of education will find this volume indispensable to understanding the central principles of dialect diversity and to addressing dialect differences in instruction.