History, language planners, and strategies of forgetting
The problem of consciousness in the Philippines
Many language planners and language scholars in the Philippines suffer from imperial amnesia — the inability or refusal to confront the complexity of history from which emerged various discourses on language and education in the country. Work on language planning is ideologically and politically positioned through various discursive strategies of forgetting. Forget the War. Forget the Pain. Forget the Fight. An examination of these strategies will enable us to understand why language planning practitioners in the Philippines argue the way they do concerning critical language issues in the country. However, it takes more than changing (historical) consciousness to change the world. In the case of the Philippines, such discursive strategies of forgetting are deployed across complex structures of relations shaped by decades of colonization, Filipino elite collaboration, and current neocolonial and global conditions. This paper argues for a critical historiography of our ideas and work on language because, after all, whether we like it or not, we are both products and makers of our own histories. In language planning, we need to remember.
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