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Language Policy in Classrooms and Schools

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Language Policy and Political Issues in Education

Part of the book series: Encyclopedia of Language and Education ((ELE))

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Abstract

Schools are crucial sites for the implementation of language policies. After gaining recognition within the broader field of language policy in the 1980s, language education policy has grown swiftly. While earlier work in language policy focused on the resolution of language “problems” in colonial and postcolonial nation building efforts, typically by analyzing official top-down documents aimed at deliberate language change, in the 1990s–2000s researchers increasingly adopted a critical perspective with an interest in ensuring that language education policies do not create or perpetuate social inequities. This critical focus was followed by the current focus on educator agency, in which research methods informed by anthropology have been favored as scholars increasingly conduct ethnographic research inside schools. This has resulted in greater attention to the human dimensions of policies as living and dynamic and acknowledgment that educators are at the epicenter of language policy processes, as they are called upon to interpret policies and implement them within their classrooms. We describe how understandings of the dynamic and fluid language practices of bilinguals coming from the new body of translanguaging research hold great promise for shaping the next wave of language education policy research. After overviewing current challenges, we conclude by offering a set of questions for future research.

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Menken, K., García, O. (2016). Language Policy in Classrooms and Schools. In: McCarty, T., May, S. (eds) Language Policy and Political Issues in Education. Encyclopedia of Language and Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02320-5_17-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02320-5_17-1

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