Jo_Arthur_Shoba_Routledge_Introduction.doc - Introduction...

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Introduction: Ideological and implementational spaces for multilingual educational policy and practice in the global South Jo Arthur Shoba and Feliciano Chimbutane (eds) In this introduction we set out the scope and aims of the book, as well as the shared theoretical understandings of the contributors. Working in often very different multilingual contexts across the global South, the contributors’ shared concern is for the consequences of different policies, programmes and pedagogies for learners and for local communities. Focus on the Global South: Africa, Asia, South and Central America The contemporary world is characterised by increased intra-national and trans-national population mobility, the impact of supra-national politico-economic structures, and economic globalization. As a consequence, there is a reshaping of linguistic and cultural pluralism, as well as some destabilizing of the tenets of nation-state politics. These socio- political transformations are creating political and ideological tensions which are both centripetal and centrifugal in nature (Bakhtin 1981). On the one hand, the continuing centripetal pull towards cultural and linguistic uniformity is evident in the spread of English and other powerful languages across the world. On the other hand, centrifugal tendencies, of resistance to conformity - the assertion of difference and local identity - are demonstrated in the development of bilingual education policies and practices, particularly in the global South. 1
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Our use of the term ‘global South’ in the title of this book signals an inclusive scope, insofar as it contains studies from across what used to be called the ‘Third World’. Countries of the global South are still often termed ‘developing’ or, occasionally and even more negatively, ‘underdeveloped’, labels which are felt more and more to be inappropriate, not least because they often imply a linear trajectory towards westernised norms and values. There are, of course, significant cultural, political and economic differences among countries of the geographical global South, with some, such as India and Brazil, currently experiencing rapid economic growth. However, the historical and continuing dominance of the global North is evident across many such countries (including India and Brazil), since the impact of economic growth is still to be felt in the lives of the majority of their populations. Thus, while there may be context-specific differences in terms of how bilingual education is constructed and practised, countries in the global South share some key features in terms of language-in-education policies and practices. This book brings together case studies which illuminate the workings of political and cultural tensions in education in eleven countries of the global South. Based on recent ethnographic research, the studies offer insights into different types of language- in-education policies in these countries and into different kinds of bilingual and multilingual pedagogy in local schools and classrooms.
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  • Winter '18
  • Multilingualism, bilingual education, Language policy, Linguistic rights

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