Paper 1: SLS 660


You have several choices for this paper:

Option A

A critical literature review of an L1/L2 (or bilingual, multilingual) language issue or challenge and transformative responses to that challenge.

Drawing on our readings on language variation, the politics of knowledge, and gaps between policy and practice, you will focus on a specific issue for debate or a problem in a specific context in order to do the following:
1. Describe the specific issue or problem within a historical and social context
2. Explain what stakeholders are involved in the debate and what their differing viewpoints may be
3. Review academic literature that provides examples of responses to the issue or problem (or which may provide responses to similar problems in other contexts)
4. Discuss a transformative solution(s) to the issue or challenge you have addressed; be sure to discuss the feasibility of this transformative solution(s).

Possible topics include:


Option B

A critical analysis of a specific language policy which contextualizes the development of the language policy in historical and social contexts and discusses the effects of the policy on language teaching, learning, and use. This paper will answer the following question: Where did this policy come from, and why? Depending on the topic, your analysis may also consider responses to this policy among students, teachers, and other stakeholders. Examples of such critical analyses can be found in Seargeant (2008), O'Donnell (2005) and Yim (2007).

(1) a national language policy for a country in which you have lived and worked or studied;
(2) a policy regarding indigenous, immigrant, or pidgin/creole languages, or nonstandard varieties in a particular region;
(3) a language policy for a specific institution, such as workplace or an educational institution;
(4) a policy for corpus planning issues, for instance, the institution or change of a writing system, non-sexist language use, introduction of foreign words vs. indigenization;.
(5) other language planning or policy issues which you propose

   Sample student papers:
   Jeju Island as an English zone in South Korea
   Minority language policy for Turkish speakers in Germany

Helpful references

Canagarajah, Suresh (ed.) 2005. Reclaiming the Local in Language Policy and Practice . Erlbaum.
May, Stephen. 2001. Language and Minority Rights. London: Longman.
Schmidt, Ronald. 2000. Language policy and identity politics in the United States . Temple University Press.
Spolsky, Bernard, & Mesthrie, Rajend (eds.) 2003. Language Policy . Cambridge.
Tollefson, James. 2001. Language Policies in Education: Critical Issues . Erlbaum.