Featured Symposium: Directions in Language Policy Research: How Compatible Are Current Approaches

12:00am
Presented at: AILA 2014

Approaches to language policy analysis are sometimes dichotomized as either focusing on social structure (historical-structural approaches) or those emphasizing creative agency within the public sphere.

This panel explores Tollefson’s contention that there is no inherent theoretical conflict between these approaches. Rather than focusing on the differences between these approaches, his contention is that the crucial questions for LP research, are: “Under what conditions are the state and other powerful institutions (e.g., corporations and non-governmental organizations) able to impose their will on individuals and communities through language policies? Under what conditions can individuals and communities act as agents in their own language learning and language use?” Through research-based examples, the panel will critically address the contention that “the difference between these two paradigms is not theoretical but a matter of emphasis or perhaps even the temperament of different researchers.”