The Honey Trap: the social and cognitive adequacy of language in educational contexts

Journal of Applied Philosophy 5 (2):211-224 (1988)
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ABSTRACT The attack on bidialectal approaches to the teaching of writing mounted by John Honey in The Language Trap is examined and critically discussed. It is argued that Honey confuses the issues of the social and the cognitive adequacy of a particular variety of language. In particular, his critique of bidialectalism, in so far as it is based on a version of verbal deficit theory and/or cognitive relativism, is misconceived. There are valid criticisms to be made of the bidialectal approach, but they centre on the social rather than the cognitive adequacy of different varieties of language. When the critique is formulated in this way, it is more enlightening and less misleading.



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Christopher Winch
King's College London

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Education, literacy and the development of rationality.C. A. Winch - 1983 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 17 (2):187–200.
Verbal Deficit and Educational Success.C. A. Winch - 1985 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 2 (1):109-120.
Linguistics and'cultural deprivation'.David E. Cooper - 1978 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 12 (1):113–120.

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