Language Education and Social Justice in Multilingual Contexts
Critiquing and reshaping language hierarchies: Practices and discourses of "local" and "global" language teachers in multilingual regions
Haley De Korne (photo: Nadia Frantsen)
About the project
This project examines some of the opportunities, risks, and changing power dynamics of language education in multilingual contexts, focusing on practices and discourses around language teacher training. Through an ethnographic and action research approach this project observes and engages with participants in language teacher training programs to explore their perceptions and practices of critique towards the language hierarchies that are present in their regions. While English is now viewed as a "global" language, and English teachers are in increasing demand, the recognition and teaching of "local" heritage or Indigenous languages is also increasing in multilingual regions around the world. This is the case in the two multilingual regions to be considered in this project: southern Mexico and northern Norway. The project will include participants training to teach so-called global languages, such as English, as well as those training to teach languages that are local to the region, such as Sami in northern Norway and Zapotec in southern Mexico. As trends in language education shift due to both global and local influences, I seek to understand the opportunities for supporting social well-being through language education in multilingual contexts, and the possible avenues for critique or resistance to persistent linguistic inequalities that are identified and taken up by these (future) teachers.
My current work builds on previous research, participation and advocacy related to Indigenous language education and language education politics in a variety of places, especially the US and Mexico.
I serve on the organizing committee for a NSF DEL grant examining the benefits of language revitalization efforts for child learners, and the contributions of language documentation in these efforts.