The Language Gap: Ideologies within Varying Communities of Practice

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Vol: 15, Issue: 1

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Antonsen, Brandi L
language ideologies; Language Gap; language development; expertise; early childhood; Linguistic Anthropology
article description
The “language gap” claim, originally framed by Hart and Risley, has received powerful attention throughout our society regardless of its lack of qualifications. In this paper, I explore language ideologies concerning language development throughout early childhood and its role in future academic achievement. I conducted interviews with university faculty members in Education, preschool and elementary teachers, and parents of young children in order to attain perspectives about their experience within language acquisition and socialization. In short, I found that the participant’s indicative level of expertise affected their ideologies regarding the “language gap” claim as the university faculty in Education aligned their perspectives with unnamed research and few examples of personal experience while teachers and parents more fully relied on their personal experiences. Furthermore, I offer insight on the powerful influence of ideology and the necessary reframing of linguistic differences.