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ERIC Number: EJ1020607
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0091-732X
A Cerebration of Language Diversity, Language Policy, and Politics in Education
Lo Bianco, Joseph
Review of Research in Education, v38 n1 p312-331 Mar 2014
The content of the present issue of "Review of Research in Education" (RRE) is timely and important, allowing considered, multiperspectival active reflection, what the author calls cerebration, on language diversity as well as a call for concerted action for linking better the findings of research to the imperatives of teaching. In conceiving this volume, the editors have designed four pedestals, serving as a kind of ontology, of the philosophical categories and their relations as the entities that constitute the domain of language pluralism: (1) Educational access, equity, and achievement; (2) Native-language literacy as an educational right; (3) The paradox of majority and minority languages; and (4) Emerging global demographic shifts. In this concluding chapter, the author argues that despite multilingualism being well established as the predictable condition of all human society, historically nation-states have absorbed and legitimized discourses and self-understanding as homogenous and unilingual states. The discrepancy between the historical condition and its contemporary ideological representation gives rise to politics of language and policies in and for language education. The four theme points establish an enduring remit for consideration of language policy from multiple perspectives. Demographically it is seen everywhere on-the-ground linguistic pluralism in all societies. This is a pluralism in which languages, dialects, and genres of expression are not bounded and compartmentalized but fused and combined. Yet this daily and ubiquitous linguistic pluralism clashes with the official declarations and preferences for monolingualism, a monolingualism that privileges dominant languages and pushes education systems to promote secure, bounded, hierarchically ranked languages with uncontested literary canons. These are immense challenges whose depth and importance will be present for decades into the future even as they are transformed further by migration, technology, and new understandings of communication. A new optimism that education language planning can be put to the service of multiliterate, multicultural, and multilingual future global citizens is needed. If there is to be a new culture war, it should be one in which pluralism is granted central consideration as an overarching human right for justice and productivity, a true cause of cerebration.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A