Language Policy

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 139–159

Ethnography of language policy

Original Paper


While theoretical conceptualizations of language policy have grown increasingly rich, empirical data that test these models are less common. Further, there is little methodological guidance for those who wish to do research on language policy interpretation and appropriation. The ethnography of language policy is proposed as a method which makes macro–micro connections by comparing critical discourse analyses of language policy with ethnographic data collection in some local context. A methodological heuristic is offered to guide data collection and sample data are presented from the School District of Philadelphia. It is argued that critical conceptualizations of educational language policy should be combined with empirical data collection of policy appropriation in educational settings.


Language policy Bilingual education Ethnography No Child Left Behind Discourse analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teaching and LearningWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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