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ERIC Number: ED167990
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Apr
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Report on Two Views of the Deficit Theory of Language.
Yellin, David
The views of proponents and opponents of the language deficit theory--the theory that nonstandard dialect is a deficient form of language--are presented in this paper. Following a description of the work of Basil Bernstein, a British educator who is considered the key figure among proponents of the theory, the paper presents an overview of the work of four other British proponents--Frieda Goldman-Eisler, Lorna Bell, and D. M. and G. A. Gahagan--and of four prominent United States proponents--Benjamin Bloom, Carl Bereiter, Siegfried Engelmann, and Martin Deutsch--all of whom advocate compensatory education for children labeled as culturally deprived. It also mentions the related work of Hilda Taba and Deborah Elkins and the controversial work of Arthur Jensen, whose conclusions pointed to the existence of language deficiencies among minority children. The paper then presents the views of scholars who reject the entire notion of language deficiency. Those in this group whose work is summarized are William Labov, the foremost opponent of the theory; Walter Wolfram; Susan Houston; and Joan and Stephen Baratz. Finally, the paper cites research that points to the damaging effects of teachers' negative attitudes toward disadvantaged students, and it discusses Herbert Ginsburg's work, which counters results that point to deficiences among disadvantaged children. Twenty-two related studies are listed and annotated. (GT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Language Deficit Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual National Conference on Language Arts in the Elementary School (9th, Phoenix, Arizona, April 22-24, 1977)