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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Gail Stygall
ENGL 478
Seattle Campus

Language and Social Policy

Examines the relationship between language policy and social organization; the impact of language policy on immigration, education, and access to resources and political institutions; language policy and revolutionary change; language rights.

Class description

What do all these items have in common? Swearing or no-swearing at the dinner table, Global English, dueling languages, laws about what can be on signs, interpreters in hospitals, the European Union’s languages, and English as a “neutral"? language? Each item is an example of language policy. This course is an introduction to language policy. We'll examine how language policy works its way into many parts of our daily lives. In addition to reading an overview of the field, we'll read a collection of articles on theoretical approaches to language policy around the world. In addition, we’ll examine how law sometimes sets language policy through a sample of cases from the United States, which can be used as exemplars for law setting language policy in other countries. For the law section, there will be a course packet. There are also two textbooks for the class. Each class member will carry out a research project on a current non-U.S. language policy, reporting to the class and writing a paper on the results of the research.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Two short papers and one long paper; participation


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Gail Stygall
Date: 02/27/2012