Language, Education, and Ideology: Mapping the Linguistic Landscape of U.S. Schools
Language educators in general, and foreign language educators in particular, need to be aware of and sensitive to issues related to the interface and nexus of language, education, and ideology. This work places foreign language education in its social context, as well as applying critical pedagogy to the foreign language classroom, to help educators become more aware of the social, political, historical, and economic contexts in which they work and which effect the classroom setting.
Research and scholarship in critical pedagogy is impressive, extensive, and powerful, and has had significant impact on nearly every aspect of contemporary educational scholarship. One area in which critical theory and critical pedagogy have been slow to have a noticeable effect, however, is that of language education, especially foreign language education. Further, while a number of important works address issues of critical literacy, there are no general works presenting critical perspectives on language and language issues targeting classroom teachers and other educators.
This work offers a broad and comprehensive overview of language and linguistic issues that emerge in the classroom context from a critical philosophical perspective. The central focus is on the nexus of issues of language, education, and ideology, as the title suggests, and specific topics covered will include language and power, linguistic purism, the marginalization of second language education in the United States, the phenomenon of ideological monolingualism in the United States, the hierarchy of the less commonly taught languages (both in terms of its etiology and the ideological and hegemonic functions this hierarchy serves), nonmainstream language varieties in school settings, issues of linguistic legitimacy in the classroom context, the politics and ideological context of bilingual education in the United States, language policy both as a tool for oppression and as a means of empowerment, and finally, the need for critical language awareness on the part of all educators.
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