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Insights into Language Education Policies

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Edited By Manuel Jiménez Raya and Terry Lamb

Insights into Language Education Policies is of particular interest to academic researchers, policymakers, and teaching professionals interested in language education. It aims to provide the reader with critical insights into language education policies in diverse countries around the world. The chapters examine from different perspectives (for instance, migration and minority languages, indigenous languages, and content and language integrated learning [CLIL] instruction) the measures adopted in these settings to foster (modern) language learning, underlining their strengths and weaknesses and suggesting future avenues and courses of action to enhance plurilingual education in these particular contexts and beyond.

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Toward empathetic multilingual language education policy (LEP) in the U.S. and the world: An indigenous view of linguistic autonomy through the Native American Languages Act (Kristine M. Harrison)

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Kristine M. Harrison

Toward empathetic multilingual language education policy (LEP) in the U.S. and the world: An indigenous view of linguistic autonomy through the Native American Languages Act

There is not an Indian pupil…who is permitted to study any other language than our own

(Commissioner of Indian Affairs John D.C. Atkins, 1887, quoted in McCarty, 2013: 54)

Abstract: This chapter presents an interpretive policy analysis of the NALA (Native American Languages Act) of the United States, a law promoted to revitalise endangered languages. This Act included precepts about language which will be analysed as regards their implications in school for global English Language teaching. Even before English as a Global Lingua Franca gained ground worldwide, ‘English-only’ was the language education policy for Native Americans and immigrants in the United States. For Native Americans, this meant forced education in boarding schools and language shift to English. For immigrants, it implied a process of first language attrition. The result of the English-only policy in the United States has been an institutionally monolingual society, and it has had strong implications for identity formation: continued assimilation is disguised as integration for those students already displaced from home cultures and languages. The chapter concludes by describing the MEMES (Making Empathetic Multilingual Environments in School) project, a nascent initiative promoting teacher support, training and policy change for multilingual education.

Keywords: Native Americans, Native American Languages Act, English-only language policy, English language teaching

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