Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Linguistics and African Languages University of Ibadan, Nigeria

2 Department of Linguistics and African Languages, University of Ibadan, Nigeria


The nature of the relationship between language and social class has attracted the attention of language scholars, especially sociolinguists. The aim of this study is to provide further arguments on the never-ending debate around Basil Bernstein’s position on language and social class. However, unlike previous studies, it focuses on social class (as marked by school type and access to information technology tools) and computer-mediated communication proficiency among selected secondary school students in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. While there was no significant difference in the attitudes of the  sampled public and private secondary schools’ students, strong evidence abounds to the effect that private school students had a better mastery and ‘proficiency’ in the use of computer-mediated communication language relative to their counterparts in public schools. Although there are studies challenging Bernstein’s claims on language and social class, the study further lends credence to the validity of these claims, particularly as experienced in the Nigerian context: upper and middle class children demonstrate better proficiency relative to their lower class counterparts, especially in (English) language-related subjects.