Category: Language Ideologies

  • Language Ideologies in the Wild: Bedtime podcasts

    Language Ideologies in the Wild: Bedtime podcasts

    It’s time for another post in the language ideologies in the wild series! This time, I’m excited to report on an instance of a podcast actually questioning dominant language ideologies. The podcast is Be Calm on Ahway Island, which I usually play for my daughter to put her to sleep. The episode is “Articulate Airplanes”.

  • Multilingual and Multidialectal Approaches: Setting up a research team

    Multilingual and Multidialectal Approaches: Setting up a research team

    This fall semester I’m launching a new research project, “Multilingual and Multidialectal Approaches in the Arabic Classroom.” Thanks to funding from the Qatar Foundation International, I also have a research team, including undergraduate and graduate students. This means that I’ve spent the bulk of my semester so far setting up this project, so I thought I’d describe that experience here. Hopefully I’ll be able to give more updates throughout the semester!

  • Critiques of Translanguaging Approaches

    Critiques of Translanguaging Approaches

    Over the past few years, translanguaging as a theoretical framework has risen in popularity (at least in my circles) and this means that critiques of it have also become more vocal, something I definitely noticed attending the recent AAAL Conference. Critique is a necessary part of academic work and theoretical development, so this is important. Personally, I’m always interested in critiques of ideas I feel strongly about (to the extent that I frequently google “critique of ________” just out of curiosity). However, I honestly haven’t found the critiques of translanguaging I’ve encountered compelling, so I thought I would discuss them here.

  • Reflections on Four Years of Blogging

    Reflections on Four Years of Blogging

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been just over four years since I started this blog! To celebrate, I’d like to reflect on this experience, as well as share some previous favorite posts, according to visits and to me!

  • Translingual Approaches in World Language Education: Perspectives from Arabic Learning Contexts

    Translingual Approaches in World Language Education: Perspectives from Arabic Learning Contexts

    A couple of weeks ago, I co-organized a colloquium with Khaled Al Masaeed at the American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference titled “Translingual Approaches in World Language Education: Perspectives from Arabic Learning Contexts”. Although I have attended the AAAL conference most years since 2007, and it is probably my favorite conference, there are usually only 1-3 presentations focused on Arabic. So, to have an entire colloquium focused on Arabic was a dream come true!

  • Language Ideologies in the Wild: Language Learning as a Hobby

    Language Ideologies in the Wild: Language Learning as a Hobby

    Following up on my recent language ideologies in the wild series, in this post I’m back with a collection of examples focused on the ideology of language learning as a fun hobby. As these unrelated examples demonstrate, this is a fairly common language ideology, and while I am all for hobbies, it’s worth highlighting the role of this ideology in marginalizing language learning in the U.S. (and probably most anglophone countries).

  • Language Ideologies in the Wild: Braiding Sweetgrass

    Language Ideologies in the Wild: Braiding Sweetgrass

    This post continues the Language Ideologies in the Wild series, where I discuss language ideologies I encounter in my everyday life, usually in books or podcasts. Today, I’m looking at selections from a book I read recently: Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I enjoyed and thoroughly recommend this book, which focuses on recognizing Indigenous knowledge about plants, humans, and ecosystems and integrating it with western scientific approaches (while also showing the limitations of the latter). So, my discussion of language ideologies in this book is not a critique of the author, or the book, but just a way of highlighting the unrecognized role of language ideologies in our everyday lives.

  • Language Ideologies in the Wild: Street Parking

    Language Ideologies in the Wild: Street Parking

    It’s time for another language ideologies in the wild post! In this series, I describe the underlying (and generally) unrealized language ideologies in material I encounter in my everyday life. Today’s discussion comes courtesy of the Street Parking podcast. Street Parking is a fitness program I participate in (and love!) so as usual, the point of this post isn’t to be critical of this program or the podcast host, but just to raise awareness of how language ideologies show up unquestioned in our everyday lives.

  • Does a multidialectal approach mean teaching all of the dialects?

    Does a multidialectal approach mean teaching all of the dialects?

    This is a question I get frequently when I advocate for a multidialectal approach to learning Arabic. The short answer is no.

    The longer answer is also no, but with a much lengthier explanation, which I thought I’d give in this post. In general, there are two types of people who ask this question. The first category is those who want to discredit dialect teaching completely (every village has its own dialect, how can you possibly choose, MSA is the answer). The second category is people who find the idea appealing, but the process confusing (does this mean teaching every word in major dialect groups? Isn’t that a lot to ask of students? How do you do this all in class?) This post is aimed at that second category, as those coming from the first have an ideological perspective I will always be at odds with.

  • The energy drain of the language enrollments issue

    The energy drain of the language enrollments issue

    In two previous posts, I’ve addressed structural aspects of the language enrollments issue as well as some ideas on what language teachers can control. In this post, I want to address a final aspect of this issue: energy, and the energy-draining nature of being asked to justify a central part of one’s existence.