From a privileged background, Hamlet lamented the dominance of language in human affairs. He could because he had a large margin for error in using words. The less privileged don't. And now that's being recognized and addressed.
Providence, Rhode Island won the $5 million first prize in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's contest to help cities bridge the gap in word acquisition for low-income children, reports POLITICO. In essence, Providence's proposal was to equip children with micro recorders. Those will track language use in their daily activities. Based on that, children and their families will be introduced to more language choices.
As we know, middle class children are coached for standardized tests such as the verbal part of the SAT by drilling in vocabulary, both the words and the range of meanings. Much of the educational process, which can still be a ticket to upward mobility, is based on language - spoken and text. Job interviews consist of presenting ourselves orally. As we weary of virtual relationships we are having meetups and there public speaking is everything.