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Language Policy Committee (November 2015)

Related Information

Students' Right to Their Own Language

CCCC Guideline, April 1974, reaffirmed November 2003, annotated bibliograhy added August 2006


Language Knowledge and Awareness Survey

Conducted by the Language Policy Committee. This is the final research report from January 2000. The full survey can be found at the end of the report.

Committee Members

Kim Brian Lovejoy, Co-Chair
Elaine Richardson, Co-Chair

Isabel Baca
Terry Carter
Qwo-Li Driskill
Austin Jackson
David Kirkland
Rashidah Jaami Muhammad
Gail Okawa
Geneva Smitherman
Denise Troutman
Victor Villanueva
Bonnie Williams
Ana Celia Zentella

Committee Charge

The Language Policy Committee is charged to:

Charge 1: Continue to monitor English only and anti-bilingual legislation and policies and devise strategies to protect language rights and promote language diversity for legislators, policy-makers and the public;

Charge 2: Identify effective pedagogies for advancing language diversity and meeting needs of English Language Learners and collect data on departments and programs that effectively address language diversity and needs of English Language Learners;

Charge 3: Continue to update the SRTOL bibliography, develop content for the LPC page at the NCTE website, and offer convention workshops on language diversity and the needs of English Language Learners.

Charge 4: Examine the global and local aspects of language in relation to developments such as globalization, post-colonial conditions, world popular cultures and world Englishes.

Fall 2012 Update

Through the work of the Language Policy Committee, the CCCC and the NCTE passed two language policies, “Students’ Right to Their Own Language” (CCCC, l974, Reaffirmed, 2003; NCTE, 2003) and the “National Language Policy” (CCCC, l988, NCTE, l998), that were designed to set the tone for policy and pedagogy development to support language diversity in the classroom. We have seen a plethora of research on language differences in the decades since these policies were adopted, yet experienced professionals in both organizations continue to express concern about current teaching practices and lack of academic preparation in language diversity of college composition instructors.


The Language Policy Committee will offer a half-day workshop at the CCCC Convention on Wednesday, March 14, 2013, in Las Vegas. The workshop, titled “Disarming the Privileging of ‘Standard’ English: Classroom Implementation of Writing Assignments that Fight Linguistic Dominance,” will contextualize current examples of language practices among urban students, in school and after-school contexts, that highlight the various ways that educators can capitalize on and expand student knowledge, meaning making practices, and writing. It will offer clear-cut, well-designed pedagogical strategies that writing teachers can use to honor the philosophical spirit of “Students’ Right to their Own Language” (SRTOL) and the National Language Policy (NLP). However progressive these policies are, there still remains a request from teachers on how to identify and implement effective pedagogies that advance language diversity in the classroom. The Language Policy Committee, with this workshop, will answer that call by offering conferees theory-based/practical strategies to protect language rights and to promote language diversity in the public sphere. Please join us!

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