Encyclopedia of Language and Education

2008 Edition
| Editors: Nancy H. Hornberger

Variationist Approaches to Language and Education

  • Kirk Hazen
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30424-3_247


For over four decades, variationists have investigated the social dilemmas of language and education. This effort is based on the study of language variation, with language variation being a cover term for both synchronic and diachronic variation (variation in space and over time). Since language variation is a daily presence in the classroom, many proactive efforts of variationists have focused on how educational policies and practitioners handle language variation.

Variationist sociolinguistics can be seen as both a subtype of sociolinguistics and linguistics: This work is exemplified by The Handbook of Language Variation and Change (Chambers, Trudgill, and Schilling‐Estes, 2002). As linguists, variationists work from the findings of cognitive science to construct explanations for language variation both in the speech community and in the mind. The extraordinary trait of variationists‐cum‐linguists is the inclusion of social factors as well as linguistic factors in...


Phonological Awareness Educational Researcher Language Variation School English Emerge Literacy Skill 
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Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirk Hazen
    • 1
  1. 1.West Virginia University, Eberly College of Arts and SciencesMorgantownUSA