ERIC Number: EJ1137256
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Rejecting Babel: Examining Multilingualism without Citizenship in the U.S. Postnational Scenario
Barros, Sandro R.
Current Issues in Language Planning, v18 n2 p117-135 2017
Despite the long history of multilingualism in the U.S., language rights debates have tended to center almost exclusively on the acquisition of English as an issue of equity for citizens who are speakers of other languages. Policies advanced in the name of "access" and "equity" continue to frame English as the only viable means through which citizens can enjoy the full benefits of national membership. Seldom, however, is the legislative culture that surrounds monolingualism examined as being contradictory to the liberal principles of liberty and equality upon which Western democracies are founded. The purpose of this article is to examine how legislative discourse contributes to the regulation of monolingualism as a culture within super-diverse linguistic landscapes such as the U.S., and how the legislation of language rights in federal courts unduly promotes the "dis-citizenship" of speakers of languages other than English [Ramanathan, V. (2013). "Language policies and (dis)citizenship: Rights, access, pedagogies." Bristol: "Multilingual Matters"; Wodak, R. (2013). "Dis-citizenship and migration: A critical discourse-analytical perspective." "Journal of Language, Identity & Education," 12(3), 173-178. doi:10.1080/15348458.2013.797258]. This article analyzes, specifically, how federal courts' pronouncements on language rights disputes have continuously sustained monolingualism as a corollary of citizenship. The article concludes with a discussion on the challenges and advantages of rearticulating linguistic rights within the U.S. current postnational scenario through the lens of an "ethnolinguistic democracy" [Fishman in Skutnabb-Kangas, T., & Phillipson, R. (1995). "Linguistic human rights: Overcoming linguistic discrimination." Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter].
Descriptors: Multilingualism, Educational Policy, Equal Education, Access to Education, Civil Rights, Discourse Analysis, Federal Legislation, Monolingualism, English Only Movement, English (Second Language), Second Language Learning, Citizenship, Language Planning, Court Litigation, Native Language
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
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