Define and conquer

What is “language”? Here on Speech Events we’ve stated that we’re interested in what people do through language (Saussure’s parole), rather than linguistic form (Saussure’s langue, Chomsky’s grammatical competence, or universal grammar). We pay attention to what language practices do, what they mean socially, ideologically, and politically. Today I find myself asking what is “English… Read More Define and conquer

A glance inside the social change toolbox

By engaging in the discipline of educational linguistics we’ve made it pretty clear– we care about social realities, about people, power-structures, parole, and how they intertwine. We’re out to make the world– or at least the multilingual classroom– a better and more equitable place. Across academia there are plenty of scholars who would say they’re… Read More A glance inside the social change toolbox

On the endings and beginnings of time, turtles, and ways of speaking

1. Ways of speaking Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, México is a multilingual city. An estimated half of the population speak Isthmus Zapotec, while some speak other Indigenous languages, and almost all also speak Spanish. After 500+ years of colonization and 70+ years of mandatory Spanish schooling many say that use of Spanish is now becoming… Read More On the endings and beginnings of time, turtles, and ways of speaking

(What) Are we learning from ‘linguistic landscapes’?

How do we learn from and about the visual environment that we find ourselves in? In academia the fairly recent study of ‘Linguistic landscapes’ describes how languages are used in an environment, focusing on whether and how multiple languages are present in public spaces. Printed text is just one aspect of the meaning-packed (semiotically dense)… Read More (What) Are we learning from ‘linguistic landscapes’?