This article examines some of the central paradoxes of vernacular language use in the classroom and suggests methods for converting those paradoxes into productive teaching opportunities. Beginning from a linguistic point of view, the authors discuss the devaluing and marginalization of the vernacular in educational settings and then move on to literary examples, demonstrating how vernacular literature generates its own transnational conversation. The authors propose concrete strategies for incorporating vernacular language and literature in language arts, composition, and literature classrooms at secondary and university levels.

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