James Paul Gee
Gee, J. P. (2014). Decontextualized Language: A Problem, Not a Solution. International Multilingual Research Journal, 8(1), 9-23. DOI: 10.1080/19313152.2014.852424
Publication year: 2014

Why do children from some minority groups and children living in poverty do poorly in school when compared to white middle-class children? Researchers have offered a large number of different answers to this question. One of the most popular answers has been based on the notion of “decontextualized language.” This article argues that this widely influential answer is wrong and misleading, because it is based on a poor theory of how human language works. In turn, I will suggest a better theory of language with which to pursue the question.