Across the English-speaking world there is a liberal orthodoxy which opposes the use of standard English in schools and in society at large. But does this truly protect the underprivileged, or has it inflicted lasting educational damage on a generation of children? Is Steven Pinker, best-selling author of The Language Instinct, right to claim that all languages and dialects are equal?Professor John Honey refutes the arguments that for the past three decades have been put forward against standard English, and shows how apparently egalitarian notions of 'Black English' and other dialects can effectively limit access to standard English and hence power for disadvantaged or minority groups. He discusses the charge that the worldwide teaching of English amounts to 'linguistic imperialism', and examines whether British English will inevitably lose out to American.
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