ERIC Number: EJ1088334
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Emerging Trilingual Literacies in Rural India: Linguistic, Marketing, and Developmental Aspects
Bhatia, Tej K.; Ritchie, William C.
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v19 n2 p202-215 2016
This paper examines emerging forms of multilingualism and multiliteracy in rural India (where the term "literacy" is used broadly here to include digital media literacy and marketing literacy as well as literacy in the traditional sense of the knowledge of a writing system). Here forces of globalization and digital communication have created unique communication circumstances that have a serious bearing on our understanding of multilingualism and on theoretical and practical issues concerning literacy in developing and rural societies. The newly emerging form of bimodal communication (man-machine and verbal-visual) is a product of a new village institution called an e-"Choupal," a meeting place housing a computer with Internet access, where local farmers meet to learn about developments in farming, crop prices, etc., on the basis of contact with the world beyond the village through the use of computers. Traditionally, communication between members of the rural population and members of the mainstream population has been limited to the use of a mainstream variety--in this case, either Indian English or Standard Hindi--rather than the nonmainstream varieties of the rural population. In many cases in this as well as in other societies, this circumstance has lead to an instance of subtractive bilingualism in which the rural varieties have become less used and, eventually, extinct. In an e-"Choupal," the local rural dialect plays a central role in communication between the manager of the e-"Choupal" and the e-"Choupal's" rural clientele, thus providing a case of additive multilingualism for the rural population through which the rural varieties will play a major role and will therefore have a chance to avoid extinction. Not only does the use of the local variety improve accuracy of communication, it also creates a high level of trust between the manager and the clientele based on shared sociolinguistic identity. This shared identity leads to a high level of success in the functioning of the e-"Choupal" as a center for the diffusion of innovations as predicted by Rogers' general framework for the study of such centers; the paper proposes an analysis in terms of this framework. In addition, we analyze this case in terms of three contemporary theoretical research traditions--Social Identity Theory, Communication Accommodation Theory, and Markedness Theory.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Rural Areas, Multilingualism, Multiple Literacies, Marketing, Global Approach, Computer Mediated Communication, Developing Nations, Internet, English (Second Language), Language Variation, Second Language Learning, Indo European Languages, Bilingualism, Language Role, Administrators, Sociolinguistics, Guidelines, Self Concept, Linguistic Theory, Language Usage, Trust (Psychology), Agricultural Occupations, Access to Computers, Qualitative Research, Observation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A