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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Schools have often made little or no provision for the linguistic heterogeneity of their pupils, and assumptions of “best” or “correct” usage continue to complicate classroom dynamics. Linguistic scholarship has convincingly demonstrated that, just as there are no intrinsically “better” or “worse” languages, so there are no substandard dialects. Nonetheless, since social perceptions and prejudices have always been able to turn linguistic difference into deficit, it seems clear that the life chances of many children will improve to the extent that they expand their language repertoires—and it is entirely reasonable to expect that schools will assist in bilingual and bidialectal adaptations. The pivotal psychological difficulty, then, is to provide such assistance as part of inclusive classroom practice while avoiding any condemnation of the varieties that children bring with them from home.

Keywords: Bidialectalism, bilingualism, classrooms, language deficit, language difference, language variation

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