Verbal Deficit: A Critique

1st Edition

J. C. B. Gordon

Published October 3, 2018
Reference - 176 Pages
ISBN 9781138350045 - CAT# K395157
Series: Routledge Library Editions: Sociolinguistics

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Originally published in 1981. Verbal deficit theories try to account for differential educational attainments in linguistic terms, suggesting that children reach varying levels of success in school as a result of their ability or inability to express themselves, and relate this to social class. This critique considers such theories, especially in the form propounded by Bernstein, primarily from a sociolinguistic viewpoint but with special attention to the historical and educational context behind the theories. It claims that verbal deficit theories are not only unscientific and non-linguistic, but are educationally damaging as well, and proposes instead a linguistic ‘difference’ theory.


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