Voices of Authority: Education and Linguistic Difference

Voices of Authority: Education and Linguistic Difference

Voices of Authority: Education and Linguistic Difference

Voices of Authority: Education and Linguistic Difference

Synopsis

This collection of case studies from around the world examines how struggles for equality unfold in policies, programs, and practices in educational settings in multilingual contexts. Using sociolinguistic, interactional and discourse analysis, Heller and Martin-Jones examine the complex ways in which dominant ideologies of education, pedagogy, language and identity intersect in a wide variety of educational settings. They focus in particular on how those ideologies are reproduced or challenged, and on the consequences of such processes for changing or maintaining social relations of difference and inequality. Written for policy-makers, educators, and anyone else interested in education and multilingualism, the book places questions of power at the center of thinking about language and education.

Excerpt

One of the major challenges of our day is the provision of effective, democratic education under conditions of increasing sociolinguistic diversity and change. Yet, most work on this subject focuses on linguistic, cognitive, pedagogical, or policy dimensions of education and linguistic diversity, failing to address social and political issues. This volume argues that these issues are central to understanding the significance and consequence both of educational policy and practices in multilingual settings and of language policy and practices as they manifest themselves through education. Specifically, we argue that language practices in these settings reveal struggles over the establishment of authority and legitimacy; they can be interpreted as voices expressing a variety of social positions and interests with respect to the resources distributed through educational institutions and processes. They reveal what is at stake and for whom in choices made at state, institutional, school, and other levels regarding both language of instruction and assessment, as well as regarding language teaching and learning and the evaluation of linguistic proficiency.

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