(Re)Defining Freedom of Speech: LanguagePolicy, Education, and Linguistic Rights in the United States

Francis Hult francis.hult at utsa.edu
Sat Feb 20 21:45:53 UTC 2010

Via lgpolicy...

(Re)Defining Freedom of Speech: Language Policy, Education, and
Linguistic Rights in the United States
Eric J. Johnson, Washington State University,

Author's email: ejj at tricity.wsu.edu
ISSN: 1457-9863
Publisher: Centre for Applied Language Studies, University of Jyväskylä
© 2009: The author
http://apples.jyu.fi <http://apples.jyu.fi/> 

In the United States, the current sociopolitical environment has
produced a barrage of policies aimed at curbing the use of languages
other than English. From a language ideologies perspective
(Schieffelin et al. 1998), this discussion outlines the political
architecture of anti-immigrant policies as they are realized in public
classrooms. Schools are readily accessible to policymakers and
effectively used in the process of instilling socially desired
qualities while simultaneously filtering out unwelcome
characteristics. As the largest minority group in the United States,
the children of Latino immigrants have been especially affected by
educational language policies. By tracing out the underlying impetus
behind federal and state language policies, I demonstrate how
immigration, language, and ethnicity are conflated in the process of
developing policies that aim to homogenize and repress cultural
diversity. Focusing on language policies across multiple levels of
government demonstrates the complexity involved the development and
implementation of programs that service immigrant and
language-minority communities. It is argued that the fundamental lack
of cultural and linguistic sensitivity that spans English-only
policies constitutes a coherent effort to interrupt the processes of
heritage culture transmission to language-minority students. In this
context, the adverse effects of subtractive language policies targeted
at minority communities become apparent as they extend from the
classroom to a variety of other social contexts.

Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies volume 3, issue 1, 2009

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