1st Edition

Verbal Deficit
A Critique





ISBN 9781138352872
Published March 7, 2020 by Routledge
176 Pages

USD $40.00

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Differential Educational Attainment  2. ‘Classical’ Verbal Deficit Theory  3. Bernstein’s Sociolinguistic Theory  4. Challenges and Alternatives  5. Verbal Deficit Theories in Context.  Conclusion and Prospect.  Appendices

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