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Linguistic proficiency as cultural capital in school environments

Linguistic proficiency as cultural capital in school environments

Title: Linguistic proficiency as cultural capital in school environments
Author: Angantýsson, Ásgrímur   orcid.org/0000-0003-1452-9741
Date: 2017-01-14
Language: English
Scope: 163–179
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Menntavísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Education (UI)
Series: Beyond Philology;14(1)
ISSN: 1732-1220
2451-1498 (eISSN)
Subject: Móðurmálskennsla; Málfræði; Menntaskólar; Nemendur; Félagsauður
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/823

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Angantýsson, Á. (2017). Linguistic proficiency as cultural capital in school environments. Beyond Philology: An International Journal of Linguistics, Literary Studies and English Language Teaching, (14/1), 163–179.


The main concern of this paper is the extent to which students’ expec-tations of first language studies reflect the idea that linguistic proficiency produces social and cultural capital (Bourdieu 2008 and earli-er work). The participants consisted of 14 focus groups of students in secondary schools in Iceland. Most of the students believe it is desirable to acquire fluency in reading and formal writing. In their view, however, the amount of time devoted to traditional school grammar is actually a detriment to that goal. Furthermore, the students think that success in Icelandic as a school subject depends to some extent on reading habits and language instruction at home. These views support the idea that schools tend to reward their students for knowledge and skills that are not necessarily highlighted in the class-room but which can be viewed as advantageous due to systematic cultural reproduction within families and social networks.


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