[lg policy] UK: Children unable to talk properly because of working parents

David Johnson davidcasselsjohnson at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 4 23:23:14 UTC 2010


I have noticed a resurgence of the verbal deprivation/linguistic deficit approach lately (Hart and Risley get a lot of attention) although this one does not place the blame on lower or working-class parents - just all parents who work - which is an interesting spin. Educational psychologists often seem to be the ones promoting these ideas although there are others. And I agree that there is no indication (I would love to be proven wrong here) they understand the nature of language/linguistics. Still, their ideas gain traction among educational policy makers (I think) because (a) psychologists have numbers and (b) they tap into already existing, however incorrect, assumptions about language and language learning. 

David


> From: rkephart at unf.edu
> Date: Sun, 3 Jan 2010 18:31:14 -0500
> Subject: Re: [lg policy] UK: Children unable to talk properly because of	working parents
> To: lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
> 
> On 1/3/10 5:26 PM, "Harold Schiffman" <hfsclpp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> > Jean Gross, a former education psychologist...
> 
> Oh, ye gods. Are "education psychologists" trained in linguistics? Aren't
> these the people who told us Black English was was an index of cognitive
> deficiency? Are there any laws against impersonating a linguist (or
> anthropologist)?
> 
> OK, at least she's correct when she says the following:
> 
> "Our brains have not evolved to learn from machines. Babies are primed to
> respond to a face, and to recognise their parents' faces."
> 
> But then, she recovers with this:
> 
> "I still think parents staying home and looking after their own  children is
> ideal, or making sure a grandparent or trusted person will give  a child
> that one-to-one intense development of language."
> 
> One-to-one? Really? Has she read any of the ethnographic literature on
> child-rearing practices? Does she think that language acquisition is a
> learning experience that requires specific one-to-one teaching?
> 
> Oh, and what exactly is talking "properly?"
> 
> Are we all doomed? And why am I asking so many questions?
> 
> Ron
> 
> 
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