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    Vassar College
  Feb 18, 2018
Catalogue 2017-2018
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EDUC 245 - The Politics of Language in Schools and Society

1 unit(s)
The United States is one of the most multilingual nations in the world, and, language is intimately connected to family and personal identity. This course explores how language, power, and ideology play out in public debate, state policy and educational justice movements. We examine the link between racism, language and national belonging by analyzing how Standard English, Black English (AAVE) and Spanish-English bilingualism are positioned as more or less “correct”, or politicized and even policied. We then turn our eye to curriculum and education policy, examining how debates around language in the classroom. Finally we pose possibilities, and examine the politics of language in multilingual, hybrid and global contexts. What do debates about “correctness” in language obscure? How do our fears, hopes and longing for identity shape our beliefs about language in the classroom? How does the history of U.S. language politics inform our present? What does equitable language education policy look like? Why are these issues important to all citizens?

Prerequisite(s): EDUC 235  or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

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