Language, Culture, and Identity: Implications for Policy, Planning, Teaching, and Learning

EDC&I 505 Seattle Campus/BEDUC 520 Bothell Campus
June 20 – July 1, 2011, MTWThF

suzanne romaineThe varied cultural and linguistic contexts existing in contemporary societies around the globe pose complex challenges for policy makers and planners as well as for teachers and learners. The pervasive presence of some degree of multilingualism indicates a universal need for multilingual/multicultural policy and planning to ensure that members of different language groups within nations have access to and can participate in national affairs without discrimination. Because issues of identity, culture, power, and nationhood are linked closely to the use of specific languages in the classroom, policies concerning choice of language(s) as the medium of instruction are essential.  This course will provide an international perspective on language, culture, and identity by examining some critical dimensions of policy planning, teaching, and learning. Students will have the opportunity to engage with theoretical and practical aspects of the subject with reference to specific case studies in countries around the world.

Suzanne Romaine is an internationally known linguist and Merton Professor of English language at the University of Oxford, UK. She has held a variety of scholarships and visiting fellowships at other universities, including the University of Edinburgh, Georgetown University, and Stanford University. Her research interests lie primarily in historical linguistics and sociolinguistics, especially in problems of societal multilingualism, linguistic diversity, language change, language acquisition, and language contact in the broadest sense. Her areas of interest include corpus linguistics, language and gender, literacy, and bilingual/immersion education. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Europe (first on the language of working class schoolchildren in Scotland, and subsequently on patterns of bilingualism and language loss among Panjabi speakers in England) as well as in the Pacific Islands region (first in Papua New Guinea on the language of rural and urban schoolchildren, and most recently in Hawai'i). She is the author or coauthor of a number of books including Socio-Historical Linguistics: Its Status and Methodology (2009), Sound Patterns in Interaction: Cross-Linguistic Studies from Conversation (2003), Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages (2002), An Introduction to Language and Society, Fourth Edition (2001),and Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (2001).