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ERIC Number: ED039511
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Dec
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
On the Contribution of the Linguist to Institutionalized Racism.
Williams, Clyde E.
This paper attempts to discredit the theory held by many educational psychologists and found most prominently in works by Bereiter and Engelmann, that lower class children are verbally deprived. The author reports on an experiment conducted by the staff of the Southwest Educational Laboratory among lower socioeconomic class children in Watts and neighboring areas of Los Angeles. Their findings conflict with Bereiter and Engelmann's in demonstrating that such children are able to ask questions of several types, to give explanations, to draw inferences, to exchange and give information, and to use complex sentences. It is suggested that group interviews are most successful in eliciting language from these children and that faulty interviewing techniques may account for the results obtained by Bereiter and Engelmann. Finally the author warns that if linguists, whose primary task is to show how children learn and use language, do not take the lead in demonstrating the invalidity of the theory of verbal deprivation, they may be considered passive contributors to "institutionalized racism," which is manifested "when the social scientist enshrines canons of objectivity and academic detachment to a point where the meaningful or insightful study of human affairs is precluded." (FWB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Language Society of America, San Francisco, December 1969