Ways With Words: Language, Life, and Work in Communities and Classrooms

Shirley Brice Heath
Published by Cambridge University Press


Ways With Words 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 southeastern 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 members also worked in the mills. In tracing the children's language use and development, Heath shows the deep cultural differences between the two communities and raises fundamental questions about the nature of language use and development, the effects of literacy on oral language use, and the sources of communication problems in schools and workplaces. 1983/1996

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