The language (or the variety of a language) that is most commonly spoken by the members of a family for everyday interactions at home.
- "Educational organizers in English-speaking countries have tended to assume that the languages of school and home are the same, but this is not necessarily so, especially in areas of high immigration and those in which everyday usage differs from the standard."
(P. Christophersen, "Home Language." The Oxford Companion to the English Language, 1992)
- "[T]he Newbolt Report on the teaching of English in England (Board of Education, 1921) stipulated that children should be taught spoken and written Standard English in the interests of national unity: a unified language would help to produce a unified nation. This link between language and national identity was also made in the (more recent) Australian curriculum statement . . ., [which] emphasizes respect for children's home language varieties, and this balancing act between respecting home language and providing access to a standard variety has also characterized practice and policy elsewhere. In 1975, the Bulloch Report . . . argued that teachers should accept the child's home language variety but that 'standard forms' should also be taught:
The aim is not to alienate the child from a form of language with which he has grown up and which serves him efficiently in the speech community in his neighbourhood. It is to enlarge his repertoire so that he can use language effectively in other speech situations and use standard forms when they are needed.Virtually all educationalists and policy makers recognize the importance of children's home language."
(Department of Education and Science, 1975, p. 143)
(N. Mercer and J. Swann, Learning English: Development and Diversity. Routledge, 1996)