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"Be Listening"

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  • karen
    ... Which one is correct? I ain t be listening that much or I don t be listening that much ? There are millions of Americas who can tell you which sentence
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 6, 2013
      Dave Kees says:
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      Which one is correct? "I ain't be listening that much" or "I don't be listening that much"? There are millions of Americas who can tell you which sentence is grammatically correct because there is an accepted grammar at work here.
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      He then goes on to conclude:
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      Again we see that the most powerful effective way we learn English is not from the book learning and teacher teaching that goes on but is from our environment, the comprehensible input that we are exposed to and, as Krashen points out, the cultural "club" that we feel we belong to.
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      However, I want to point out that, in a presentation by dialect expert (and linguist) Walt Wolfram, he gave a grammar usage quiz for items like the one Dave mentions. This was at a Carolina TESOL conference; Carolina TESOL serves a region of the US that has many speakers of varieties that use these forms.

      In the audience, there were many people who had NOT used this form, but who had heard it around them for many years. Many of these people were NOT able to choose the "correct" form.

      Once the GRAMMATICAL EXPLANATION was supplied by Walt Wolfram, they were able to discriminate and use the form correctly.

      There is more than one effective way to learn language.

      Karen
    • Kenneth Wilson
      ... I do believe an earlier post suggested, in effect, that all language learners should be taught to avoid use of I don t be ... --or the positive I be --
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 6, 2013
        On 9/6/2013 2:56 PM, karen wrote:

        > There is more than one effective way to learn language.
        >


        I do believe an earlier post suggested, in effect, that all language
        learners should be taught to avoid use of "I don't be ..."--or the positive "I be" -- in any significant interaction, whether correctly or incorrectly.

        Ken W.
      • Raymond Allan Johnson
        In the first place the **question** is ludicrous (the only person I can recall ever using the expression ain t be was Andy Griffith). Amy Curry would be
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 6, 2013
          In the first place the **question** is ludicrous (the only person I can recall ever using the expression "ain't be" was Andy Griffith). Amy Curry would be rolling over in her grave. She taught English in the Black community in the South for more than five decades -- at a time when educators were allowed to educate; and she would 'crack the knuckles' of any of her students who talked like Ms. Jenteal. Then along came the 'linguists' with their 'explanations.'

          In the past, when educators were allowed to educate (and even now, in the part of the Black community who CARE whether our kids grow up to be able to compete in the corporate world or attend the best schools), the conversation would have been how to HELP Ms. Jenteal [improve her grammar, and verb construction], not how to 'explain' her. Do you have differences in how grammar is used in the Black community (or in other ethnic enclaves?]? Sure. Does that means we ignore and explain away the problem? Heavens, I hope not!

          KTF

          RAY
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