Reclaiming the Local in Language Policy and Practice

1st Edition

A. Suresh Canagarajah

Routledge
Published November 30, 2004
Reference - 224 Pages
ISBN 9780805845938 - CAT# ER7667
Series: ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

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Summary

This volume inserts the place of the local in theorizing about language policies and practices in applied linguistics. While the effects of globalization around the world are being discussed in such diverse circles as corporations, law firms, and education, and while the spread of English has come to largely benefit those in positions of power, relatively little has been said about the impact of globalization at the local level, directly or indirectly. Reclaiming the Local in Language Policy and Practice is unique in focusing specifically on the outcomes of globalization in and among the communities affected by these changes. The authors make a case for why it is important for local social practices, communicative conventions, linguistic realities, and knowledge paradigms to actively inform language policies and practices for classrooms and communities in specific contexts, and to critically inform those pertaining to other communities.

Engaging with the dominant paradigms in the discipline of applied linguistics, the chapters include research relating to second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, literacy, and language planning. The majority of chapters are case studies of specific contexts and communities, focused on situations of language teaching. Beyond their local contexts these studies are important for initiating discussion of their relevance for other, different communities and contexts. Taken together, the chapters in this book approach the task of reclaiming and making space for the local by means of negotiating with the present and the global. They illuminate the paradox that the local contains complex values of diversity, multilingualism, and plurality that can help to reconceive the multilingual society and education for postmodern times.

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