Reclaiming the Local in Language Policy and Practice: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reclaiming the Local in Language Policy and Practice

1st Edition

Edited by A. Suresh Canagarajah


224 pages

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pub: 2004-11-30
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This volume inserts the place of the local in theorizing about language policies and practices in applied linguistics. While the effects of globalization around the world are being discussed in such diverse circles as corporations, law firms, and education, and while the spread of English has come to largely benefit those in positions of power, relatively little has been said about the impact of globalization at the local level, directly or indirectly. Reclaiming the Local in Language Policy and Practice is unique in focusing specifically on the outcomes of globalization in and among the communities affected by these changes. The authors make a case for why it is important for local social practices, communicative conventions, linguistic realities, and knowledge paradigms to actively inform language policies and practices for classrooms and communities in specific contexts, and to critically inform those pertaining to other communities.

Engaging with the dominant paradigms in the discipline of applied linguistics, the chapters include research relating to second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, literacy, and language planning. The majority of chapters are case studies of specific contexts and communities, focused on situations of language teaching. Beyond their local contexts these studies are important for initiating discussion of their relevance for other, different communities and contexts. Taken together, the chapters in this book approach the task of reclaiming and making space for the local by means of negotiating with the present and the global. They illuminate the paradox that the local contains complex values of diversity, multilingualism, and plurality that can help to reconceive the multilingual society and education for postmodern times.


"While many of the ideas in this volume may not be new…the contributions offer new insight into these discussions and reemphasize the need for a paradigm shift within AL. The volume as a whole…paves the way for new platforms of research which will continue to take account of socially, culturally, historically, and intuitionally situated perspectives."

—Linguist List

"…this book identifies the urgent local concerns caused by the increasing linguistic and social homogeneity in the representation of literacy and expertise, and also brings to the foreground the rising issues of power inequality."


"…the book contains many fine articles addressing a variety of critical, postcolonial and poststructural aspects of local language practices, and is a valuable resource for scholars in applied linguistics and related fields." –Journal of Language, Identity, and Education; 7: 161-168, 2008

Table of Contents

Contents: E. Hinkel, Series Editor Foreword. Preface. Introduction. Part I: Redefining Disciplinary Constructs. S. Canagarajah, Reconstructing Local Knowledge, Reconfiguring Language Studies. R.M. Bhatt, Expert Discourses, Local Practices, and Hybridity: The Case of Indian Englishes. D. Ryon, Language Death Studies and Local Knowledge: The Case of Cajun French. L.M.T. Menezes de Souza, The Ecology of Writing Among the Kashinawá: Indigenous Multimodality in Brazil. Part II: Interrogating Language Policies. K. Rajagopalan, The Language Issue in Brazil: When Local Knowledge Clashes With Expert Knowledge. M.K. David, S. Govindasamy, Negotiating a Language Policy for Malaysia: Local Demand for Affirmative Action Versus Challenges From Globalization. S. Utakis, M.D. Pita, An Educational Policy for Negotiating Transnationalism: The Dominican Community in New York City. Part III: Reframing Professional Lives. D. Block, Convergence and Resistance in the Construction of Personal and Professional Identities: Four French Modern Language Teachers in London. A. Lin, W. Wang, N. Akamatsu, M. Riazi, International TESOL Professionals and Teaching English for Globalized Communication (TEGCOM) Part IV: Imagining Classroom Possibilities. P. Martin, Talking Knowledge Into Being in an Upriver Primary School in Brunei. J.C.M. Luk, Voicing the "Self" Through an "Other" Language: Exploring Communicative Language Teaching for Global Communication. E. Mermann-Jozwiak, N. Sullivan, Local Knowledge and Global Citizenship: Languages and Literatures of the United States-Mexico Borderlands.

About the Series

ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

This series provides essential texts on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. It includes authored and edited volumes to be used as primary or supplementary texts in graduate-level and teacher training courses to enhance students’ and practicing teachers’ professional qualifications and knowledge. Each text is designed to promote the current and growing body of knowledge in applied linguistics and second language teaching, including advances in teacher education and the study of language.

Specifically, the series includes, but is not limited to, current uses of applied linguistics research in teaching a variety of second language skills, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; materials and curriculum design; literacy; English for academic purposes; and research methods.

The texts also deal with broad domains of professional preparation related to socio-cultural perspectives and current issues/topics in teaching and learning a second language.

Books in the series benefit not only students, but experienced teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and other second and foreign language professionals seeking to advance and update their knowledge and expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Aims & Objectives