In reply to you question, Gerry, I checked French-American because my
ancestors did not come to Louisiana from Acadia. They all came from France.
I also wrote that I speak French, as does my husband. It comes in very
handy when we don't want our daughter to know what we are talking about. We
haven't taught her the language. It is remiss of us because the Cajun
language is dying. We have French immersion programs in many of the public
schools now to help preserve this vital part of our culture. When I taught
in public school, I would give each student 100 points at the beginning of
each 6 week grading period. I called it a grammar and proper language usage
grade. For each improper use of language, 5 points was deducted from this
grade. After a while, many of my students thought before they spoke. Some
of the worse infractions were subject/verb agreement, verb tense, and double
negatives. He don't, I had went, and I ain't got no... were the most common
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerry Reinhart-Waller" <waluk@...>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, April 24, 2000 11:24 AM
Subject: [phonet] Language in General

> kc rouge writes:
> I have learned a great deal about language from reading your messages.
> I have a better understanding as to why it is so difficult for people,
> like my child and husband, who have language processing disorders. I am
> from southwest Louisiana, and I am a Cajun. I am bilingual also. I
> learned French and English together. Although the French we speak is an
> archaic dialect of 17th century French. We have also incorporated
> Spanish and Indian words into our language. What makes the Cajun
> language a challenge is the fact that different areas may use a
> different word for the same thing. I may use one word for towel, but 15
> miles south of where I live, in Arnauldville, for example, another word
> might be used for towel. Therefore, the French spoken in the prairie
> regions is a completely different language than the French spoken in the
> river land regions that are farther south and east of here.
> I thing that one of the reasons people have a hard time with English, or
> any language for that matter, is due to the
> cultural diversity of a country. Each country adds or corrupts words
> which become part of the lexicon. A text book version of a language is
> vastly different from the language that is spoken by the population of a
> country. Indeed, when I taught English at the local high school, I had
> a hard time understanding the African American students. They spoke a
> language that is now called Ebonics. They used the infinitive form of
> the verb to be
> rather than the proper present progressive form: I be going to the
> store instead of I am going to the store.
> The English many of them spoke is a completely different language than
> standard American English. Actually, I guess it would be considered a
> substandard language.
> I don't know if this will mean anything, but I just wanted to share my
> thoughts with the group.
> Karen Rougeau
> Most interesting Karen. On the census 2000 form, which category of
> ethnic origin did you check? And how many lanugages can you speak?
> Would you please name them? And one last question, as an English
> teacher, were you required to teach your Black students "standard
> English"?
> Cheers,
> Gerry
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