WiSe 15/16: SII: Sprachwiss. Methoden und Englischunterricht
Language Ideology and Language Teaching - Dealing with Postcolonial Variation and Diversity in the Language Classroom
In this seminar, we get to know the theoretical foundations and methods ... read more
Language Ideology and Language Teaching - Dealing with Postcolonial Variation and Diversity in the Language Classroom In this seminar, we get to know the theoretical foundations and methods of language ideology research and discuss their relevance for the teaching of language in an age of globalisation and diversity.
The term ideology here does not mean 'false' beliefs about language but rather refers to concepts and ideas that link language and the social realm. We are thus not primarily interested in the structures of languages or the meanings that are expressed in language but rather with the social role of language in society. Objects of study in language ideology research are, for example,
[b]eliefs about how 'language' and 'reality' are related, beliefs about how communication works, and beliefs about linguistic correctness, goodness and badness, articulateness and inarticulateness [...], beliefs about the role of language in a person's identity, beliefs about how languages are learned, and beliefs about what the functions of language should be, who the authorities on language are, whether and how language should be legislated, and so on. (Johnstone 2008:66)
Obviously, language teaching is based on particular ideologies of language that we want to discuss during the course of the seminar. In the context of teaching the English language, the need to problematize what is a language, why we want to teach it and how this links to social and political discourses has arisen after the decolonization of British colonies when multiple standard languages developed. This has become even more complicated but also crucial with the current role of English as a global lingua franca.
After firstly laying a sound theoretical foundation and introducing the various methods with which we study language ideologies, we secondly get to know some examples of postcolonial English varieties and thirdly have a look at language ideologies in school, in school curricula and at contemporary approaches to language teaching that consider the multiplicity of language standards and of linguistic resources that are present in the classroom. Potential questions to discuss will be: What is English and why do we teach it? Which standard of English do we want to teach? Where do standards come from? What kind of language resources do pupils need when faced with many different kinds of 'right'? How do we prepare pupils to critically reflect on their own and other's language use? And what should be the role of teaching standard language grammars? How can we make the multiple language resources of pupils a meaningful element in the teaching of language? How do governmental school curricula in Germany and elsewhere deal with language variation? …
Students who want to participate in this seminar are expected to be familiar with the foundations of sociolinguistics, to engage with theoretical texts and to prepare seminar contents for discussion in class.