Volume 27 - Number 2 - Fall 2012
Editors: Catrice Barret and Joanna Luz Siegel
Language Practices and Attitudes in EFL and English-Medium Classes at a University in Eastern Ukraine, Oleg Tarnopolsky and Bridget Goodman
Language Practices and Attitudes in EFL and English-Medium Classes at a University in Eastern Ukraine
Oleg Tarnopolsky and Bridget Goodman
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to show how English and the predominant native language (L1), Russian, are used in classes of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and classes in which English is a medium of instruction (EMI) in a single Ukrainian university. Classes were taught by 13 teachers including the authors. Uses of English and Russian/Ukrainian were documented over 9 months in the form of ethnographic field notes, audio recording, and video recording. Semi-structured interviews and informal conversations captured student and teacher attitudes towards English and Russian/Ukrainian use. The authors found multiple purposes for using the L1. Teachers and students consider the use of the L1 in the classroom to be a natural function of the need for comprehension.
Supporting Home Language Maintenance among Children with English as an Additional Language in Irish Primary Schools
ABSTRACT: Children speaking a home language other than English who have recently immigrated into the Republic of Ireland are expected to engage with the primary school curriculum in English, with which they may or may not be familiar, as well as learning an additional language (Irish) as a beginner. In recent years, the Republic of Ireland has hosted high numbers of immigrants relative to other countries. The Council of Europe acknowledges that while this increases the language resources on which Ireland can capitalise, the new demand for English as an Additional Language is transforming many mainstream schools into plurilingual micro-communities. This paper explores the degree to which Home Language maintenance among children with English as an Additional Language is supported in Irish primary schools. Findings are presented from a mixed methods study conducted between 2007 and 2010 regarding the support of L1 maintenance by the Whole School Community in its widest sense (parents, teachers, community). Overall the study has shown many positive aspects of an education system that does advocate for children with English as an additional language in the early years of primary school at the macro level. However, this system requires a more consistent approach to supporting opportunities for professional learning among the mainstream classroom teachers who are ultimately responsible for implementing policies and practices at the micro level.
Improving Language Policy and Planning Through Evaluation: Approaches to Evaluating Minority Language Policies
Haley De Korne
ABSTRACT: An increasing number of regional, national, and international policies promote the use of minoritized, Indigenous languages in education and other social domains, but little is known about how successful these policy approaches are. There is a lack of research on minoritized language (ML) policy development and implementation, with no established procedure for evaluating the success of diverse policies. This paper aims to contribute to the on-going development of ML policy evaluation (and language policy evaluation in general), with an emphasis on the eventual use of the evaluation towards policy improvement. Case studies of three different ML policies are analyzed to determine: What policy evaluation approaches have been employed? And, how effective were these evaluations in improving the policies? The resulting discussion considers promising ways of assessing the outcomes of policies in complex ML contexts, including multiple research methods, on-going evaluation, multi-genre and multilingual dissemination of results, and participation from stakeholders at all levels of policy implementation.
ABSTRACT: Faced with the diversification of diversity (Vertovec, 2010) that seems to define the contemporary world, some have called for a fundamental reorientation of sociolinguistics: from a focus on languages and speakers to a focus on resources and repertoires; from unitary, localized and countable ethnolinguistic communities to diasporized (or even virtual) ones; and from fully-fluent native speaker competence to “individuals’ very variable (and often rather fragmentary) grasp of a plurality of differentially shared styles, registers and genres” (Blommaert & Rampton, 2011, 6). The superdiversity that prompts such reflections, I argue, can and should be discussed together with what seems to be its opposite: the seeming loss of diversity brought about by processes of language shift, obsolescence, and endangerment. Examination of classroom discourse on a U.S. Indian Reservation suggests that in this community, at least, people have long since moved on from the idea that all the competences associated with proficiency in language need to coincide in a single person. These students are learning to speak (parler) rather than internalizing a complete grammar (langue); in this respect their project resembles that of (other) denizens of the superdiverse metropole.
Tú Sabes Que My Flow So Tight: Translanguaging as Negotiated Participation in Classroom Hip-Hop Media Production
ABSTRACT: Jenkins’s (2009) participatory cultures rests within a body of continually emerging work on media literacy that has made key contributions in elucidating the skills, access issues and thus, the pedagogical potential of contemporary media practices. While rich and robust, participatory cultures, as a framework, can only account fractionally for the nature of collaborative learning unless it considers how participatory spaces also function as symbolic sites of struggle. In light of this, I draw on poststructuralist theories of language and identity (Norton & McKinney, 2011) and situated theories of learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991) to discuss how Puerto Rican and African American students at an alternative high school in a northeastern U.S. city deployed multiple linguistic resources to negotiate their collaborative participation in a hip-hop media production class. Based on five months of ethnographic observation, the discourse examined includes teacher and student interviews, classroom and recording studio interactions, students’ reflexive journals and recorded lyrics. The students’ translanguaging practices (García, 2009) are significant not simply in terms of form, but also in the ways that they summon ethnic, racialized, gendered, sexualized and social class-based identities of participation (Wenger, 1998) that seek to both resist and embrace participation in the hip-hop production project.
ABSTRACT: This paper presents and discusses the use of the term tongzhi（同志）as an example of language change in progress in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). I review data from different historic phases based on previous research as well as data from past and contemporary media sources. These are presented to test Weinreich, Labov, and Herzog’s (1968) social marker theory concerning the unmarked and marked uses of the term. Furthermore, underlying social and economic motivations are taken into consideration as they relate to tongzhi’s semantic changes. From its reference to people with the same ideals to a term specifically referring to people in sexual minority communities, the term tongzhi has undergone tremendous shifts in semantic implicature. Thus, I argue that tongzhi has multiple meanings for different groups of speakers, and it does not always categorically fit into Weinreich et al.’s (1968) social marker theory. Given tongzhi’s distinct connotations, the pedagogical implication of the data analysis presented here is that it is advisable to integrate socioeconomic and cultural factors into the teaching and introduction of tongzhi to learners of Chinese.