Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

MS in Literacy Education



First Supervisor

Gloria E. Jacobs


African American Vernacular English (AAVE) has been a controversial topic when it comes to African American children learning in the classroom. AAVE has been linked to African American children’s low performance scores in reading and writing. However, research has shown that this may not be the case. Although AAVE may not be the accepted form of English, or language in American society when it comes to academia, the difference in the dialect does not change the meaning’s context. This study examines whether African American children were able to code switch between AAVE and Standard English (SE). It includes four African American participants: two males and two females. Data analysis included dialogue scripts created from authentic conversations, formal and informal writing assignments, and observation notes. Findings indicate that students do know how and when to code swtich between AAVE and SE. Teachers must make sure that they immerse their African American students in both of the dialects. Therefore, students’ cultural identities will not be lost in AAVE, and they will learn how to continue to code switching to SE when appropriate.

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