How Do You Spell Gont?

How do you spell gon’t? That’s what one of my students asked me in response to me telling him to write an apology letter to me for his behavior yesterday.

Well, why don’t you tell me what you’re trying to say. I’m trying to say that I’m gont to be good today. Oh, okay, the word you want to use is going.

“No,” he said, “that’s not what I’m saying.” I’m tryna’ say that I’m gont ta’ be good today.”

“I know what you’re trying to say, Nu,” I said, “but it’s different from when you say it and when you spell it.

That’s how some Black people talk. We don’t pronounce the ends of some words, or we don’t pronounce the words correctly. So, while you’re talking to me you’ll say, ” I’m gont ta’ be good today,” when, if you are writing it, you would say, “I’m going to be good today,” I told him.

While I did explain the right words to him, I know enough from going to the AEMP conferences that you can’t correct someone out of their first language. You can expose them to the Standard English way of saying it, but by no means should the student be told that their way is the wrong way. Or that this is the “correct” way to say it.

That being said, I thought it was pretty funny that he questioned me. He was very serious. “Are you sure,” he asked.

“Yes, Nu, I am sure,” I told him. He accepted my answer and wrote it down. He had that look on his face that he gets. It’s a “Huh” or “Aha” look.

So that’s my cute story of the week. Until next time people!


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