Linguistic proficiency as cultural capital in school environments

TitillLinguistic proficiency as cultural capital in school environments
Form útgáfuTímaritsgrein
HöfundarÁsgrímur Angantýsson
TímaritBeyond Philology
ISSN1732-1220 , 2451-1498 (e-issn)
LykilorðCultural value, Grammar teaching, Icelandic, Íslenskukennsla, Linguistic capital, Linguistic literacy, Málfræði, Móðurmálskennsla

The main concern of this paper is the extent to which students’ expectationsof first language studies reflect the idea that linguisticproficiency produces social and cultural capital (Bourdieu 2008 andearlier work). The participants consisted of 14 focus groups of studentsin secondary schools in Iceland. Most of the students believe itis desirable to acquire fluency in reading and formal writing. In theirview, however, the amount of time devoted to traditional schoolgrammar is actually a detriment to that goal. Furthermore, the studentsthink that success in Icelandic as a school subject depends tosome extent on reading habits and language instruction at home.These views support the idea that schools tend to reward their studentsfor knowledge and skills that are not necessarily highlighted inthe classroom but which can be viewed as advantageous due to systematiccultural reproduction within families and social networks.

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