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Welcome to All S. Course Code: E 300 B Course Name: English Language and Literacy Language and Literacy in Social Practice Part 4: The politics of language.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to All S. Course Code: E 300 B Course Name: English Language and Literacy Language and Literacy in Social Practice Part 4: The politics of language."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to All S

2 Course Code: E 300 B Course Name: English Language and Literacy Language and Literacy in Social Practice Part 4: The politics of language and literacy Chapters 12,13,15

3 Part Four The Politics of Language and Literacy This section discuss political aspects of language planning and teaching within schools, the establishment of a literary canon and the conduct of adult literacy classes. They show how the struggle b/w competing social groups and their different agendas is expressed through policy making, the constitution of what counts as literature, and discourse about adult literacy, learning and inequality.

4 Educational Language Planning in England and Wales: Michael Stubbs He reviews some major changes concerning language planning which have been taking place within British education system. He suggests that in spite of the govt rhetoric about increased opportunities for linguistic diversity, Britain remains a profoundly monolingual nation, and that in fact, there have been major attempts to further strengthen the dominant position of standard English. He analyses patterns of control behind the apparent lack of a coherent, overall, national language-planning policy in Britain, and charts some of the ways in which English furthers its dominance over other languages within the areas of English mother- tongue teaching, modern foreign-and Welsh-language teaching and provision for bilingual pupils.

5 The major changes in British education system involve a great deal of discussion of lang issues: (a) Learning a modern foreign lang as compulsory for all secondary school pupils. (b) An element of language studies (language awareness) – a compulsory component within English curriculum. Despite govt rhetoric about linguistic diversity, basic attitudes remained unchanged. Major attempts made to strengthen dominant position of Standard English in Britain, rather than attempt to balance relationship b/w English and other langs. Govt statements about ethnic diversity & opportunities for children to study a wider range of languages looks empty rhetoric when seen against background of : (a) Other statements (b) Lack of resources to implement such policies (c) Complete absence of any overall language planning.

6 Organisation of education in England & Wales changed sharply since 1988 when Education Reform Act (ERA) came into force. ERA was the largest piece of educational legislation since Education Act of 1944. It made large-scale changes to organization of primary, secondary and tertiary education. Within National Curriculum, great deal of lang planning takes place, in a fragmented & uncoordinated way. Previously there was no National Curriculum in schools. Pre-1988, in the years BNC (Before the National Curriculum): # many educational responsibilities delegated to 110 Local Education Authorities (LEAs) # curriculum in schools was responsibility of individual schools, depts. & teachers. Now: # there is enormous centralization of control over content & assessment of curriculum. Act gives Secretary of State 400 new powers to manage whole system.

7 These changes took place very quickly, with minimum consultation with teachers & others. ERA established National Curriculum comprising English, maths, science, technology, history, geography, one modern foreign lang, music, art & physical education & in Wales, Welsh. Works of various govt committees contributed to language planning, mainly some Reports & Orders: 1975 Bullock 1985 Swann 1988 Kingman 1989 Cox 1989 Orders for Modern Foreign Languages 1990 Harris British govt always avoided any basic policy commitments on langs. Lang planning was done through diff committees isolated from each other.

8 Swann Report (1985) was about education of minority group children. Kingman Report (1988) was about English lang in mother tongue curriculum. Cox Report (1989) was about teaching English as mother-tongue in National Curriculum. Harris Report : about modern foreign langs in National Curriculum. No committee had national lang policy as part of its terms of reference. Large areas relevant to general policy not covered at all in present reforms are : adult literacy, education of deaf, lang disabilities, translation & interpretation services, in courts or social services. Groups of subject teachers or bilingual teachers had no participation rights & process of divide and rule leads to exhaustion & demoralisation. In connection with ERA, govt published Statutory Orders (1989) specifying which langs to be taught in National Curriculum. 19 langs listed as foundation subjects, to be taught b/w 11 & 16 years.

9 This new lang for all policy was a major step forward, in the context of facilitating communication b/w citizens of EC countries. Permitted langs are in 2 schedules: Schedule 1 contains working langs of EC (minus English) These are unconditionally specified as foundation subjects, & schools must offer at least one: Danish, Dutch, French, German, Modern Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish. Schedule 2 contains 11 langs, a mixture of international langs & langs of major linguistic minorities in Britain: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Gujerati, Modern Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Panjabi, Russian, Turkish, Urdu. Welsh Act (1967) asserted equal validity of English & Welsh, and gave both langs equal status in legal proceedings. Legal situation of Welsh in Wales is very diff from situation of other langs in England & Wales. Aform of territoriality principle is used for Welsh in Wales: Welsh has legal status only in Wales, as soon as a Welsh speaker crosses border into England those rights disappear.

10 Discourse of national boundaries has dangerous implications. In a wider European context, bilingual children are not from migrant- worker or immigrant families. They are second- or third- generation British citizens. Cox Report points out that English is not first lang of all children, but admits that English is first lang of education system. Schools are most powerful mechanism in assimilating minority children into mainstream cultures. Lang planning & policies operate systematically & consistently to the advantage of speakers of Std English. Multilingualism is negative as many langs divide a nation. There is an implicit assumption that societal monolingualism is the norm & that lang diversity means conflict. Behind the rhetoric, bilingual is a euphemism for black & poor. Widdowson discusses Britain as a profoundly monolingual nation which has no concept of multilingualism as an asset.

11 The beginnings of English Literary Study in British India Gaury Viswanathan She provides an historical account of the English literature canon in India which Indian citizens were required to study after the English Education Act 1835. She describes the processes involved in the decision to teach English Literature in India, the selection of texts to constitute that literature and the way in which these English texts were removed from their social, formation and assigned functions that obscure the historical forces which produced them. She argues that the introduction of English literature teaching was not simply an unmediated assertion of authority, but rather an embattled response to historical and political pressures which needs to be understood in the light of the interpenetration of social, cultural, political and literary histories. English literature came into India with the passing of the Charter Act of 1813, that produced 2 major changes: new responsibility towards native education and relaxation of controls over missionary work in India.

12 Opposing Orientalism, a countermovement called Anglicism gained dominance in 1830s. Anglicism was an expression of discontent with the policy of promoting Oriental languages and literatures in native education. Anglicism began as a defensive movement aimed at tackling the problem of corruption within the ranks. Macaulays plea on behalf of Eng lit had a major influence on the passing of Eng Education Act in 1835, which officially required the natives of India to submit to its study. By 1860s, literary curriculum in British educational establishments remained polarized around classical studies for upper classes and religious studies for the lower. Introduction of Eng lit gave rise to tensions b/w the English Parliament and the East India Company, b/w Parliament and the missionaries, b/w the East India Company and the native elite classes.

13 The adult literary process as cultural action for freedom: Paulo Freire He links literacy directly to the empowerment of oppressed people within the Third World. He rejects the banking approach to education, where knowledge and skills are deposited in learners as an investment towards economic advancement. Rather, literacy teaching should involve conscientisation through which people learn to read the world as well as the word, and to take action against injustice and tyranny. With this insistence on praxis, the dialectic b/w words and actions, Freire sees within a particular pedagogical approach, the potential to change people from objects to subjects within their own history and, ultimately, to transform all structures of oppression. Illiterates are considered as undernourished as they lack the bread of spirit. Illiterates are recognized as beings outside of marginal to, something since it is impossible to marginal to nothing. Being outside of or marginal to necessarily implies a movement of the one said to be marginal from the centre, where he was, to the periphery.

14 # Marginality is not by choice, marginal man has been expelled from and kept outside of the social system and is therefore, the object of violence. # The illiterate is not a person living on the fringe of society, a marginal man, but rather a representative of the dominated strata of society in conscious or unconscious opposition to those who, in the same structure, treat him as a thing. # Adult literacy practices demand two interrelated contexts: a relationship of authentic dialogue b/w learners and educators. This is what schools should be. The learners must assume from the beginning the role of creative subjects. The second is the real, concrete context of facts, the social reality in which men exist. # Adult literacy learning is an act of knowing, where we are advocating a synthesis b/w the educators maximally systematized knowing and the learners minimally systematized knowing-a synthesis achieved in dialogue. # The educators role is to propose problems about the codified existential situations in order to help the learners arrive at an increasingly critical view of their reality.

15 Thank You Dr. Veena Vijaya E-mail:

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