Wednesday Seminar: Dynamics of multilingualism in language revitalisation and activism: Applied linguistic insights from Oaxaca, Mexico

Haley De Korne (Associate Professor, MultiLing) will use this session as a practice talk for a presentation she will give in Cambridge Linguistics Forum.

Please note this is a closed event for MultiLing and ILN members only.

Haley De Korne smiling and wearing a black top and blue necklace

Haley De Korne


What does it take to alter current processes of language endangerment and displacement? What can meaningfully support speech communities who experience discrimination and work to revitalize and reclaim their unique ways of communicating? There are multiple possible responses to these questions, ranging from addressing political and economic inequalities, to changing education systems, shifting monolingual societal paradigms, and documenting languages. This talk will draw on ethnographic research on Isthmus Zapotec (diidxazá) promotion initiatives in Oaxaca, Mexico (2013-2018) in order to examine language activism strategies, with a focus on the role of multilingualism in language reclamation and endangered language education. I present a framework of language activism strategies that may be pursued by a wide range of social actors, from researchers to teachers to rappers. I argue that the dynamics of multilingualism and language learning play a crucial role in these activism strategies, and illustrate where tensions arise between purist versus pluralist language ideologies, and orientations to past versus future speech communities.

This is a practice talk for a presentation in Cambridge Linguistics Forum, open for MultiLing and ILN only.

Published Nov. 16, 2021 1:33 PM - Last modified Nov. 16, 2021 1:33 PM