ERIC Number: ED121067
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: N/A
Language Differences and Educational Failure. University of Sussex Education Area Occasional Paper 3.
This paper is primarily concerned with Basil Bernstein's sociolinguistic account of school failure. The first section describes some earlier work relevant to his theories. In the second section, Bernstein's sociolinguistic codes thesis is described, and an attempt is made to show that it suffers from the merging of two logically distinct strands in one description of a "restricted code." It is also suggested that Bernstein may have over-emphasized the importance of parental language per se in the child's cognitive development. The third section, drawing on several recently published critiques of Bernstein's work, examines the empirical evidence he relies upon when presenting his theory and argues that much of it is not clearly relevant to his theoretical statements. The fourth section discusses Bernstein's use of the codes thesis to explain working-class school failure. It argues that Bernstein's view of the school is unrealistic and, further, points to apparent contradictions existing between the account of the school he uses in his linguistic papers when discussing failure and the more realistic view he has presented elsewhere. In the last section some other theoretical approaches to the role of linguistic factors in school failure are briefly reviewed. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Sussex Univ. (England).