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December 26, 2008 / C H Thompson

Bernstein’s speech codes

Revision-note version

Following on from subcultural differences is linguistic deprivation (how people speak). Linguistic deprivation is another aspect of cultural deprivation theory as it forms a part of a child’s upbringing and can have a significant cameron2912pmos_468x410impact on their attainment at school.

Bernstein looked at the role of language and its affects in educational success. Bernstein argued there are two types of language use, what he termed elaborated and restricted codes.

Bernstein stressed how the language used in schools is mainly that of the elaborated code which is used by the middle-classes. This Bernstein argued gives middle-class children an advantage as class-discussions, writing essays and understanding text books requires confident use of the elaborated codes, and middle-class children will be more familiar using the elaborated codes than working-class children.

Bernstein’s work as you can read below has been criticised

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