Language and Educational Justice: A Dialogue between Linguistics and Linguistic Anthropology
Organizers: Mary Bucholtz (University of California, Santa Barbara; [email protected]
) and Anne H. Charity Hudley (College of William and Mary; [email protected]
Moderator: Anne Charity Hudley (College of William & Mary)
Introducer: Mary Bucholtz (UC Santa Barbara)
Part 1: Linguistic Theory and Educational Consequences
Presenter: Ana Celia Zentella (UC San Diego)
Presenter: Wesley Leonard (Southern Oregon University)
Part 2: Bringing Linguistics into Educational Settings
Presenter: Michel DeGraff (MIT)
Presenters: Mary Bucholtz, Katie Lateef-Jan, Jessi Love-Nichols, and Anna Bax (UC Santa Barbara)
Presenters: Anne Charity Hudley (College of William & Mary) and Christine Mallinson (University of Maryland—Baltimore County)
Presenter: Emiliana Cruz (University of Massachusetts)
Part 3: Challenging Language Ideologies and Fostering Educational Justice
Presenter: Jonathan Rosa (Stanford University)
Presenter: Joseph C. Hill (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Presenter: Kris Gutiérrez (UC Berkeley)
This Linguistic Society of America annual meeting symposium addresses the relationship between language and educational justice in a wide range of linguistic, geographic, and learning contexts both in the United States and in other countries. The papers focus on how an emphasis on linguistic justice advances both linguistic theory and the human condition.
The session has three parts. In Part 1: Linguistic Theory and Educational Consequences, Ana Celia Zentella and Wesley Leonard demonstrate how the rethinking of fundamental linguistic concepts and perspectives is necessary to redress educational and linguistic inequality in schools and communities.
Zentella presents a study of [email protected]
of diverse backgrounds, which reveals that the majority of US-born respondents participate in the semantic inversion of the stigmatized label Spanglish and share a positive assessment of Spanglish itself; their views challenge the teachers and texts that misrepresent the grammatical skills of Spanglish speakers, as well as the linguists who claim to protect them by disavowing their preferred label. Leonard shows how a focus on “truths” about languages can actually inhibit social justice by erasing community-based values and epistemologies. He critiques such phenomena using insights from Native American communities in the United States that are engaged in language revitalization.
In Part 2: Linguistic Collaborations in Educational Settings, Michel DeGraff, Mary Bucholtz and her coauthors, Anne Charity Hudley and Christine Mallinson, and Emiliana Cruz examine how collaborations between linguists and communities yield practical educational linguistic curricula and praxis.
DeGraff reports on teamwork with institutions in Haiti around the strategic use of participative pedagogy in Haitian Creole to improve the teaching of STEM across social classes and beyond linguistic barriers. Bucholtz, Lateef-Jan, Love-Nichols, and Bax describe the activities of an ongoing research/academic outreach program based at UC Santa Barbara, which aims to teach linguistics to California high school students while working toward sociolinguistic justice for speakers of marginalized varieties. Charity Hudley and Mallinson share how they met the practical needs of educators by designing two innovative technology tools for use by K-12 educators to infuse sociolinguistics-based content, strategies, and materials into their teaching. Cruz describes ongoing efforts in Oaxaca, Mexico, to sustain local linguistic practices and cultural identities in the face of globalization.
In Part 3: Challenging Language Ideologies and Fostering Educational Justice, Jonathan Rosa, Joseph C. Hill, and Kris Gutiérrez show how linguistic-ideological stances have real-world consequences and discuss how to address such issues in both theory and practice.
Rosa reframes the problem of the linguistic legitimacy, systematicity, and skillfulness of minoritized populations in the face of linguistic subordination. He introduces a “raciolinguistic” approach that redirects attention from the communicative practices of minoritized speaking subjects to the hearing practices of hegemonically positioned perceiving subjects. Hill challenges the persistent medical model of deafness and advocates for more emphasis on the cultural model of deafness, which reflects Deaf people as a linguistic and cultural minority whose primary languages are sign languages. He shows how such ideologies parallel those concerning the suitability of nonstandard and nonwritten varieties of spoken languages but are unique in that they get at the basic issue of communication modality. Gutiérrez concludes the symposium by discussing the need to reimagine and restructure educational contexts as spaces that are inclusive of all speakers’ full linguistic repertoires, including practices that are often devalued in institutional settings. Illustrated by her own work to create innovative pedagogical approaches, her presentation draws together the themes highlighted in the other papers in the symposium.