Using English Words

Using English Words

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This volume examines the impact that the life histories of people can have on their vocabulary. The book shows how discursive relations outside education position people through their vocabularies. Some are prepared for easy entry into life-long prospects of privilege and educational success, while others are denied entry. It argues that education fails to take account of the fact that many children's discursive relations, before and outside schools, are inconsistent with the kinds of lexicosemantic demands that present-day schools and their high-status culture of literacy place upon them - often unnecessarily. Partly as a result of this, many students - both native speakers and those whose second language is English - are almost guaranteed to fail in the middle levels of contemporary education before they have a chance to show that they can succeed.
The book draws on theory and research from discursive psychology and the sociology of language, but this rigorous interdisciplinary study also integrates a wide range of international work from linguistics, psycholinguistics, foreign language studies, history, philosophy, anthropology, classics, first language education, and ESL/EFL education.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 234 pages
  • 160 x 240 x 19.05mm | 578g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands, United States
  • English
  • references, index
  • 0792337107
  • 9780792337102

Table of contents

Introduction. 1. The place of words in discourse and in education. 2. A multidisciplinary review: words, culture, education, and society. 3. The historical development of the lexical bar. 4. Factors reinforcing the bar in the present day. 5. The research studies. 6. Using words in educational performance and for sociocultural reproduction. 7. Morphology and the mental lexicon. 8. Difficulty in lexical access: the lexical bar. 9. Changing practices: further research, equity matters, and other lexical bars. References. Index.
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