Encyclopedia of Language and Education

2008 Edition
| Editors: Nancy H. Hornberger

Language Ecologies and the Meaning of Diversity: Corsican Bilingual Education and the Concept of ‘Polynomie’

  • Alexandra Jaffe
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30424-3_233


Language ecology approaches to multilingual classrooms have focused attention both on the way that linguistic practices in the school articulate with the wider sociolinguistic context as well on the way that classrooms themselves constitute “microecologies” of linguistic, social, political, and pedagogical practice (Creese and Martin, 2003). Diversity is one of the focal concerns of a language ecology approach, which both takes linguistic diversity to be an intrinsic good (Mühlhäusler, 1996, p. 310) and looks at the social and cultural conditions in which linguistic diversity is maintained or reduced (Fill and Mühlhäusler, 2001; Mühlhäusler, 1996).

Bilingual education on Corsica is explicitly intended to change the language ecology on the island; specifically, to counter the effects of language shift and create a bilingual ecology where there is greater balance in the use and status of Corsican and French. Because of the advanced state of language shift from Corsican to...


Linguistic Diversity Minority Language Bilingual Education School Practice Language Practice 
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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Jaffe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsCalifornia State UniversityLong Beach, CAUSA