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Cambridge University Press
Ways with Words: Language, Life and Work in Communities and Classrooms / Edition 1

Ways with Words: Language, Life and Work in Communities and Classrooms / Edition 1

by Shirley Brice Heath
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Ways with Words, first published in 1983, is a classic study of children learning to use language at home and at school in two communities only a few miles apart in the south-eastern United States. 'Roadville' is a white working-class community of families steeped for generations in the life of textile mills; 'Trackton' is an African-American working-class community whose older generations grew up farming the land, but whose existent members work in the mills. In tracing the children's language development the author shows the deep cultural differences between the two communities, whose ways with words differ as strikingly from each other as either does from the pattern of the townspeople, the 'mainstream' blacks and whites who hold power in the schools and workplaces of the region. Employing the combined skills of ethnographer, social historian, and teacher, the author raises fundamental questions about the nature of language development, the effects of literacy on oral language habits, and the sources of communication problems in schools and workplaces.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521273190
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/07/1983
Series: Cambridge Paperback Library
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 450
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.94(d)

Table of Contents

Photographs, maps, figures, tables, texts; Acknowledgments; Prologue; Note on transcriptions; Part I. Ethnographer Learning: 1. The piedmont: textile mills and times of change; 2. 'Gettin' on' in two communities; 3. Learning how to talk in Trackton; 4. Teaching how to talk in Roadville; 5. Oral traditions; 6. Literate traditions; 7. The townspeople; Part II. Ethnographer Doing: 8. Teachers as learners; 9. Learners as ethnographers; Epilogue; Epilogue - 1996; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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