Discourse Analysis and Scalar Language Policy Research

Special Presentation: Discourse Analysis and Scalar Language Policy Research

Francis Hult, PhD 

About the Presentation
It is a long-standing sociolinguistic challenge to make connections across large and small scale of human activity (e.g., Blommaert, 2007; Lemke, 2000; Fishman, 1972), and language policy and planning (LPP) researchers often seek to explore how policies designed for a country or an institution relate to the language behaviors of individuals (Ricento, 2000; Schiffman, 1996). In managing this challenge, LPP researchers are increasingly turning to ethnographic and discourse analytic tools for exploring such relationships (e.g., McCarty, 2011; Menken & García, 2010). In this talk, I explore how the ethnographic discourse analytic approach known as nexus analysis (Scollon & Scollon, 2004) can be especially fruitful for such scalar language policy inquiry. With roots in linguistic anthropology, interactional sociolinguistics, and critical discourse analysis, nexus analysis is not a radical departure from earlier traditions, but a step in the ongoing development of ethnographic sociolinguistics. Drawing upon my own work (e.g., Hult, 2010, 2012; Källkvist & Hult, in press) and that of others working with this approach, I take up some of the key principles of nexus analysis as they relate to language policy.

I also consider how nexus analysis can guide language policy research design.

About the Speaker
Francis Hult holds a PhD in educational linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania. His work appears in major international journals as well as in edited volumes. He is the co-editor (with Bernard Spolsky) of the Handbook of Educational Linguistics(Wiley-Blackwell), editor of Directions and Prospects for Educational Linguistics(Springer), and co-editor (with Kendall King) of Educational Linguistics in Practice(Multilingual Matters). Hult has lectured on sociolinguistics, language policy, and discourse analysis at universities in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Canada, and the United States of America and presented widely at international conferences in North America, Europe, and Asia. He is the founder and manager of the Educational Linguistics List, a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Language, Culture, and Curriculum, Current Issues in Language Planning, the Encyclopedia of Language and Education, and a member of the advisory committee of the Language Policy Research Network (LPREN) as well as editor of the Educational Linguistics book series for Springer. He was the 2010Language Learning Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Calgary, Language Research Centre, and in 2012, he received the Early Career Award of Merit from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. He is affiliated with the research networks Communication, Culture and Diversity at Örebro University and Discourse Hub at the University of Jyväskylä. Since 2013, he has been a committee (beredningsgrupp) member for educational studies at the Swedish Research Council.