Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Humanities & Communication


What is the poverty of language? In researching this topic, many researchers who study linguistics and sociolinguistics have reported that language acquisition is affected by social class. Researchers have reported that the lower and working class struggle more frequently in the attainment of Standard or "Cash" English when compared to upper or middle-class students. After reviewing several sources, I find that problems with the "poverty of language in education" include low requirements for cognitive skills in the workplace, lack of reading and writing skills attained by the working class, and the minimal funding of education in working class neighborhoods. Many assumptions and interests were encountered through the various studies, but all urged for the best education and language acquisition for every child regardless of class. Defining the social class structure can help identify the problems of language found in lower and working class communities and ultimately provide valuable solutions to this important issue. This research will delve into the following sections defining social class, a review of social linguistic varieties, an explanation of the working class, social behavior, and language acquisition. Concluding the study is a section entitled, "Leveling the playing field" along with "Education and social class" that will describe the ramifications of today's education situated in a social class structure. Lastly, "A hope for equality" are final remarks by bell hooks and myself inspiring the ideals of educational reform for language acquisition within the social class structure.


Capstone Project (B.A.) Institute for Human Communication