Using Words in Educational Performance and for Sociocultural Reproduction
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The surface-level differences in word use between these two spoken statements are plain. These boys, who have spent all of their school years together as classmates, are both saying much the same thing and saying it clearly, but in different words. From an evaluative point of view, the differences in the choice of words may be significant or they may be trivial, depending upon the evaluator’s perspective and purpose. Later in this chapter I will say more about surface-level differences in word usage and their sociocultural and evaluative implications. But these studies offer more fundamental insights about language usage than just superficial comparisons of word usage. This chapter uses the data from the studies reported in Chapter 5, to look at links between the lexical bar and issues central to education: access to knowledge; school performance and assessment; access to meaning systems; and the communication of meaning. From this analysis, I offer conjectures linking the bar with inequality of educational opportunity and with questions about the schools role in social and cultural reproduction.
KeywordsEnglish Word Cultural Capital Oral Language Good Person Discursive Practice
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