© 2014 UKLA. In this paper, I consider the relationship between socio-economic background and the school experience of two groups of children. I seek to establish whether or not there are identifiable differences in the language of primary school children living in two demographically contrasting geographical areas and, if there are differences, how these differences might impact upon a child's capacity to access learning. In investigating these relationships, I conducted semi-structured interviews with the two groups using the work of Bernstein as a starting point. I found that while the children in the first school, located in a largely less affluent area of Bristol, appeared to lack confidence, extended vocabulary and often clarity in their speech, the children in the second school, located in a middle class, affluent area of the city appeared articulate, self- confident and in possession of a varied and extended vocabulary. While it is not appropriate to generalise from this small scale study, these findings raise questions about the language children experience from an early age both in the home environment and at school and suggest that there is a significant part for schools to play in ensuring that they are not excluding some groups of children from participation.
Manison Shore, L. (2015). Talking in class: A study of socio-economic difference in the primary school classroom. Literacy, 49(2), 98-104. https://doi.org/10.1111/lit.12040