Language and Power in Post-Colonial Schooling: Ideologies in Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Language and Power in Post-Colonial Schooling

Ideologies in Practice, 1st Edition

By Carolyn McKinney


178 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Critiquing the positioning of children from non-dominant groups as linguistically deficient, this book aims to bridge the gap between theorizing of language in critical sociolinguistics and approaches to language in education. Carolyn McKinney uses the lens of linguistic ideologies—teachers’ and students’ beliefs about language—to shed light on the continuing problem of reproduction of linguistic inequality. Framed within global debates in sociolinguistics and applied linguistics, she examines the case of historically white schools in South Africa, a post-colonial context where political power has shifted but where the power of whiteness continues, to provide new insights into the complex relationships between language and power, and language and subjectivity. Implications for language curricula and policy in contexts of linguistic diversity are foregrounded.

Providing an accessible overview of the scholarly literature on language ideologies and language as social practice and resource in multilingual contexts, Language and Power in Post-Colonial Schooling uses the conceptual tools it presents to analyze classroom interaction and ethnographic observations from the day-to-day life in case study schools and explores implications of both the research literature and the analyses of students’ and teachers’ discourses and practices for language in education policy and curriculum.

Table of Contents


Hilary Janks


Chapter 1

What counts as [a] language?

Chapter 2

What counts as language in education policy and curricula?

Chapter 3

Whose language resources count in schooling?

Chapter 4

Anglonormativity: language ideologies and the reproduction of race

Chapter 5

Positioning students in an Anglonormative English class: asymmetrical relations of knowing.

Chapter 6

Hope I: Students’ agency in interrupting Anglonormativity

Chapter 7

Hope II: Interrupting Anglonormativty through transformative pedagogies

Chapter 8

Conclusion: Changing what counts as legitimate language use in schooling


About the Author

Carolyn McKinney is Associate Professor, Language Education, School of Education, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

About the Series

Language, Culture, and Teaching Series

This series of texts for undergraduate- and graduate-level teacher education courses focuses on the intersections of language, culture, and teaching – specifically on how language and culture inform classroom practice. Books in the series are intended as primary or supplementary texts in the growing range of courses that address issues such as, but not limited to, foundations of multicultural education; multicultural children’s literature; teaching diverse populations; foundations of bilingual education; teaching English as a second language; and sociocultural issues in teaching.

The primary objectives of the series are to challenge traditional biases about diversity and about students of diverse languages and cultures, and to reframe the conventional idea of the textbook by envisioning classroom practice as critical, creative, and liberatory.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Aims & Objectives
EDUCATION / Multicultural Education