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ERIC Number: EJ815014
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-1931-3152
Reinterpreting Globalization in Multilingual Contexts
Shohamy, Elana
International Multilingual Research Journal, v1 n2 p127-133 Aug 2007
Joel Spring (2007/this issue) argues that in most nation states around the world today, English plays a central role primarily as a commodity of globalization. At the same time in the United States, English is being perpetuated in nationalistic terms as the only legitimate language. This is done through a variety of mechanisms such as language tests in the form of the "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001," used to deliver clear messages about the supremacy of English while immigrants using other languages are expected to transform into English. At the same time, the only "other" languages that are supported by U.S. Federal government are those believed to be needed for national security (e.g., Arabic, Persian, and Korean) referred to as "critical languages." It is in the learning of these languages that the U.S. government is investing resources, believing it can be an effective policy useful in preventing the next 9/11. English then is both a globalization tool in non-English speaking countries and a patriotic and nationalistic device in the United States where it is used to enhance national identity and to protect against "the others" by perpetuating traditional views of "nation" equals "language." Thus, in the United States today, a close connection is being made between immigration and security, marginalizing immigrant languages and perpetuating notions of "language as a problem." In this article, the author carries these ideas somewhat further by focusing on specific cases that illustrate the cost that certain groups pay for the power of global languages in multilingual societies, especially in situations where two powerful languages exist: the global and the national. She attempts to show how global languages in the context of powerful national languages create inequalities and lead groups to become even more marginalized and further victimized.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel (Tel Aviv)