English is a compulsory subject up to higher secondary level in the national curriculum of Bangladesh. This policy is based on the principle of social equality because the opportunity of learning English is kept open to all irrespective of social class, religion or geographic location. However, not all students across the country have the same sort of support, resources and opportunities for learning English or for reaping its benefits. Most of the rural students are underprivileged and deprived in this regard. Yet they have to appear at the same national examination as students from all over the country. The result is, as can be expected, many of them turn out as failed students. Those who pass cannot take the venture of higher education due to their very poor knowledge in English. The presence of English friendly environment and improved socio-cultural framework of metropolitan centers ensure easy teaching-learning in urban areas of Bangladesh, particularly in the capital city. The scenario of English teaching-learning in urban areas does not reflect the sociolinguistic reality of English learning in rural Bangladesh. So, the present study is intended to understand the urban-rural gaps in socio-economic conditions, community resources and support, situations of teaching and learning of English, vitality of English in social surroundings and family resources for education.
Keywords: Bourdieu, disparity, rural, theory of capital, urban