Reclaiming the Local in Language Policy and Practice

Reclaiming the Local in Language Policy and Practice

Reclaiming the Local in Language Policy and Practice

Reclaiming the Local in Language Policy and Practice

Synopsis

Asserts the place of the local in theorizing about language policies and practices in applied linguistics. It focuses on the outcome of globalization in and among communities, and makes a case for the importance of local social practices, communicative conventions, linguistic realities, and knowledge paradigms to actively inform language policies.

Excerpt

The many issues associated with rapidly expanding globalization have become the mainstay of publications in language policy and practices, language teaching, applied linguistic research, and a myriad of attendant areas that have do to with the spread and influence of English around the world. Although the effects of globalization around the world are being discussed in such diverse circles as brokerage companies, law firms, international businesses, and education and although the spread of English has come to largely benefit those in positions of power, relatively little has been said about changes at the local level caused by globalization, directly or indirectly.

This book is unique in the sense that it focuses specifically on the outcomes of globalization in and among the communities impacted by these changes. Locally, the effects of global homogeneity, as they relate to language, are most immediately felt in terms of how language is used and studied, how knowledge and expertise are constructed, and how local policies are established and carried out. Canagarajah focuses on the great risk that local language practices, discourses, and values will be engulfed by the sweeping economic and political forces brought about by globalization. This book sets out to portray the local perspectives on the resulting changes that are in many cases outside the control of those most directly affected by them. Taken together, this collection of chapters gives voice to the communities, groups, and individuals that would not be otherwise heard.

The enormous forces of the global tidal wave highlighted in the volume underscore the importance of preserving the local, be it in the cases of lan-

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