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Terminological tussles: taking issue with ‘EAL’ and ‘languages other than English’

Cunningham, Clare (2018) Terminological tussles: taking issue with ‘EAL’ and ‘languages other than English’. Power and Education.

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Abstract

The field of English language teaching and learning has long been full of a plethora of acronyms and terms. Those terms that relate to languages and users of languages that are not those privileged or dominant in any given context should be subject to particular scrutiny. The author argues that labels applied to individuals and less dominant languages have the power to entrench and perpetuate monolingual ideologies and deficit model thinking with regards to multilingualism in education. This paper seeks to offer a critical examination of terminology pertinent for children designated as ‘EAL’ (English as an Additional Language) in the UK school context (as well as other anglophone countries) and to problematise the most commonly used of ideologically-entrenched terms. The author proposes a new option that reconfigures the current hierarchical relationship between the dominant language, English, and those that have a lower status within the wider society. The author concludes by arguing that this discussion is arguably a starting point for a broader reconceptualisation of many of the terms and acronyms that abound in the language teaching and learning field.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cunningham, Clare (2018) Terminological tussles: taking issue with ‘EAL’ and ‘languages other than English’. Power and Education. Copyright © 2018. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1757743818806919
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
P Language and Literature > PE English
School/Department: School of Languages & Linguistics
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/3534

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