Noted language-policy expert James Crawford w ill speak at Oregon State University on the s ubject, “English Plus or English Only: Which Way for Language Policy in the United States?”

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed Oct 15 18:54:38 UTC 2008

( - CORVALLIS, Ore. – Noted language-policy expert
James Crawford will speak at Oregon State University on Saturday, Oct.
18, as part of the three-day annual meeting of the Linguistic
Association of the Southwest.

Crawford will speak on the subject, "English Plus or English Only:
Which Way for Language Policy in the United States?"

Crawford is president of the Institute for Language and Education
Policy, a nonprofit organization that promotes research-based advocacy
for English and heritage-language learners. Over the past 20 years, he
has specialized in these issues as an independent writer, lecturer and

His lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Austin Auditorium of LaSells
Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis. The event is free and
open to the public.

According to Crawford, his talk will touch on broad issues surrounding
bilingualism in the U.S. – "restrictionist" versus "inclusionist"
responses – as well as specific issues raised by Oregon's Measure 58
and impacts of English-only laws in states like California and

Measure 58 would create a new Oregon state statute to require "English
immersion" in Oregon's public schools. The ballot measure would
require, for instance, that non-English speaking students entering
kindergarten through the fourth grade could not take English immersion
classes for more than a year and a half. After that, they would take
exclusively English-only classes.

"While stressing the importance of English, Oregon has also been a
leader in fostering language diversity as a way to promote ethnic
harmony and economic development," Crawford said.

Crawford's latest book is "Advocating for English Learners: Selected
Essays" ( Multilingual Matters, 2008 ). Crawford has given keynote
speeches and other invited presentations at professional conferences,
leading universities, and school districts in more than 30 states and
several foreign countries. He maintains an extensive Language Policy
Web Site, which is Google's highest-rated resource on that subject. He
is also a blogger and webmaster at a new site for the Institute for
Language and Education Policy.

OSU's Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures is sponsoring
Crawford's talk as well as the 37th annual meeting of the Linguistic
Association of the Southwest ( LASSO ), happening Oct. 17-19. The
conference includes presentations on a wide range of topics, from
indigenous languages and language policies to making connections to
the community.

Susana Rivera-Mills, an associate professor of Spanish at OSU, is
co-organizing the conference. She also is president-elect of LASSO.

"For the first time in its history, LASSO will transcend its
geographical boundaries by holding this conference in the Pacific
Northwest at OSU," Rivera-Mills said. "As educators committed to
public engagement, we see this as a wonderful opportunity to make
connections and explore the effects of language on social and
political attitudes and behaviors that go beyond the walls of
academia. In a world that is becoming smaller and smaller each day, it
is important that we move beyond borders and embrace our linguistic
and cultural differences by being inclusive and not exclusive."
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