Standard Vs. Non-Standard English
In today's society grammar is a basis on which people are judged. If a person shows a proficiency in standard English, or formal grammar, they are deemed to be far more intelligent than their counterpart who has not mastered the use of standard English. Unfortunately because of this reason, those people who have not achieved a mastery of grammar they are likely to suffer consequences that will affect them the majority of their lives.
It is stereotypical in our society to look down upon people that we deem "unintelligent simply because of their lack of grammar mastery, it's because of this that those individuals many times find it difficult to secure high ranking, lucrative jobs in today's job market. Preference is given instead to those individuals that show a competency in perfect grammar. For these reasons it is important that all children have the opportunity to learn the usage of formal grammar.
Instruction in formal grammar helps to open a world of possibilities to students who would otherwise be ostracized because they would be seen as unintelligent and incapable of learning. By teaching all students to become proficient in formal grammar we are able to give students an even playing field upon which they can enter society.
However, having said that, we as teachers should not look down upon students that choose to use non-standard English. In the homes and communities that make up society today, formal grammar usage is an exception not the law. It is in these close nit arenas that non-standard grammar is used not only as a way of communication, but as a way of "fitting in. Just as in society the usage of non-standard English is looked down upon, using formal grammar amongst family and friends can be seen as being snobbish and uppity. We as teachers must portray to our students, and their families, that while non-standard is not "bad English, using that Engli