Authority and morality in advocating heteroglossia
In this article I address the fact that influential strands in socio- and applied linguistics advocate heteroglossic policies in education and other monolingually organised domains without extending this heteroglossia to public debate about language policy. Often this occurs by presenting linguistic diversity to relevant stakeholders as natural and real, or as the only option on account of its proven effectiveness. I argue that this strategy removes options from the debate by framing it as a scientific rather than political one, that it confronts stakeholders with academic pressure and blame, and that this may diminish scholars’ impact on policy making. Using examples from research on translanguaging, repertoires, and linguistic citizenship, I will suggest that scholars may be more effective in contexts of value conflict when their knowledge serves to expand rather than reduce the range of alternatives for stakeholders. Focusing on education I will then explore how we may reclaim language policy from an evidence-based discourse and address matters of value besides matters of fact.
Keywords: heteroglossia, authority, morality, translanguaging, repertoire, linguistic citizenship
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