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Linguistic Diversity and Social JusticeAn Introduction to Applied Sociolinguistics$
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Ingrid Piller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199937240

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937240.001.0001

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Linguistic Diversity in Education

Linguistic Diversity in Education

(p.98) Chapter 5 Linguistic Diversity in Education
Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

Ingrid Piller

Oxford University Press

This chapter demonstrates that linguistic diversity in education raises specific social justice concerns based on the entrenched mismatch between schools as institutions with a monolingual habitus and the linguistically diverse societies they serve. Mainstreaming minority children into the dominant language presents a risk factor for poor academic, socioeconomic, behavioral, and emotional outcomes. Submersion education militates against the academic achievement of multilingual youths. This is the case because of the double challenge of having to learn curriculum content through the medium of a new language and having to learn a new language while studying in that language. Furthermore, the trend toward standardized assessment has undermined many improvements that have been made to minority education. Misrecognition of language learner status presents a continuing obstacle to academic achievement and locks some minority students into a vicious cycle where limited proficiency in the school language and poor academic outcomes continuously reinforce each other.

Keywords:   academic achievement, curriculum learning, educational outcomes, language learning, language proficiency, minority education, monolingual habitus, multilingualism, standardized assessment, submersion education

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