In 2003, Pratt published a paper in Profession in which she took to task misconceptions about multilingualism and language learning she felt were apparent in the USA in the wake of 9/11 and proposed a manifesto to ensure better public understandings of the value of languages. In this presentation, we draw on Pratt’s framework to present an original analysis of the ecology of languages and language learning in the UK. We argue that many current understandings are not based on facts but on powerful discourses. We suggest that Brexit provides a significant ‘watershed’ in terms of languages and language learning, and an opportunity to consider how discourses can be changed so that the benefits that languages bring to the economic, social and cultural life of the nation are recognised and valued. Our discussion, theoretically informed by Bourdieu's concepts of symbolic, cultural, social and linguistic capital, and by Blackledge's (2005) theorisation of discourses of multilingualism, concludes by setting an agenda for applied linguists, who we argue should be at the forefront of creating a new public idea about language.
|Publication status||Published - 27 Sep 2019|
|Event||International Conference: TLANG2 - Languaging in Times of Change - University of Stirling, Stirling, United Kingdom|
Duration: 26 Sep 2019 → 27 Sep 2019
|Conference||International Conference: TLANG2 - Languaging in Times of Change|
|Abbreviated title||TLANG2 Stirling Uni 2019|
|Period||26/09/19 → 27/09/19|
- language learning