Dialect Awareness (DAWS™)

DAWS is a supplemental lesson resource designed by a team of experts (with federal research funding1) to teach 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade students how home and school language can be used in different contexts. Students learn to compare and contrast nine grammatical features common to African American English and Southern Vernacular English with Mainstream English.

Writing activities include sentence sorts, cloze sentences, sentence completion, sentence generation, and sentence editing. In a published study2, students made statistically significant gains on measures of morphosyntactic awareness, reading comprehension, and use of school English in written narratives after just eight weeks of supplemental instruction compared to students in a randomly assigned control group.

1. Funding for this work was provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences, Reading for Understanding Research Initiative Grant #R305F100027. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not present views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

2. Johnson, Lakeisha; Terry, Nicole Patton; Connor, Carol McDonald; Thomas-Tate, Shurita. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v30 n9 p2009-2038 Nov 2017 Download PDF

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