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The Discourses and Displacement of English in Turkey

Edited By Eser Ördem

This book examines the negative effect of English on other cultures and languages. English (or any colonial language) is closely related to the spread of neoliberalism and neocolonialism. Therefore, radical pedagogy and human rights are recommended as achieavable aims so that the dominant status of English can be displaced. Therefore, new discourses should be developed to oppose the colonial, necolonial and neoliberal discourses regarding English. The mandatory state of English in Turkey needs to be displaced through the inclusion of radical pedagogy which opens up space for participatory democracy. The new task of the non-English-speaking countries is to ban the neoliberal expansion of English. A world without a lingua franca is possible and could produce emancipatory sociopolitical spaces to support super diversity.

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Chapter 6: Critical Linguistic Human Rights

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Abstract: This last chapter delineates how human rights are related to language rights and how these rights are violated by the excessive expansion of the English language. English is a threat to the world languages and poses an ethical problem for humanity. Colonialism was a violation of human rights. Postwar neocolonial and imperial institutions such as IMF, the World Bank and the British Council that represent the legacy of colonialism and slavery have been violating human rights. Since they also endorse the spread of English, linguistic human rights are infringed. English as a new language is compulsory in Turkish education system, and therefore the right to choose to learn other languages is breached. The violation of linguistic human rights also entails questioning human rights document. Therefore, critical linguistic human rights are needed to take action and encourage people to require governments to enforce articles designated in human rights.

Keywords: Human rights, critical, linguistic, human rights ethical issues, English language

There is a foundation to human rights—namely, our common vulnerability. Human beings experience pain and humiliation because they are vulnerable.

(Turner, 2006, p. 9)

The preceding chapters have showed that British colonialism, the ideology of Anglicism, Orientalist studies, Occidentalist fantasies and neoliberal policies have led to the spread of the English language by force, by coercion and through a severe assimilation mindset. Therefore, violation of human rights in general and specifically linguistic human rights has not come to a halt but continued...

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