Linguistics Colloquium (CanIL), Danny Foster, “English is Now Indeed the Language of the World”

Academic Events
Trinity Western University
Room 208, CanIL Harvest Centre
7600 Glove Road
Langley, BC V2Y 1Y1

Lecture given by: Danny Foster, President of Canada Institute of Linguistics, Doctoral Researcher at the University of Bristol

“English is Now Indeed the Language of the World” – An experiment with critical Discourse Analysis to Investigate the Resistance to Mother Tongue Education in a Tanzanian Newspaper Article.

The international development community has affirmed mother tongue-based multilingual education as an important means to improving quality of education among minority language communities, especially for vulnerable groups in developing countries. Support comes from a number of organizations including (but not limited to) USAID, World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, DFID, British Council, Action Aid International, Research Triangle Institute, UNDP, Overseas Development Initiative, the Swedish International Development Agency and Save the Children.  But the high regard that the development community holds for indigenous minority languages in education is often not shared by the people who speak those languages. This paper seeks out a linguistic approach to exploring how people (re)conceptualise social reality, especially as it relates to language of instruction. Norman Fairclough’s Dialectical Relational Approach to critical discourse analysis is used to study a Tanzanian newspaper article that rejects an official proposal that Tanzanians would be better served by Swahili as the language of instruction in secondary schools.

Contact: Sandra Topelko