Kim Brian Lovejoy, Co-Chair
Elaine Richardson, Co-Chair
Rashidah Jaami Muhammad
Ana Celia Zentella
November 2015 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. Despite a plethora of research on language differences in the decades since these policies were adopted, 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 (LPC) has conducted numerous annual panels and preconvention workshops on language diversity and the teaching of composition, dating from 1988 and including the 2016 Convention. In addition to conducting the Language Knowledge and Awareness Survey of CCCC and NCTE membership and a major research report of this work (1996-2000), the LPC wrote the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric publication, Language Diversity in the Classroom: From Intention to Practice (SIU Press, 2003). It also produced an annotated update of the bibliography to Students’ Right to Their Own Language (2004-06).
The Language Policy Committee is currently working on a new book project, which examines how people are cross-pollinating, i.e., effectively mingling and managing, a variety of languages and rhetorics to construct new and old arguments, identities, and possibilities for individual and collective life. Contributors will offer important insights into what particular skills, practices, and processes exist around the manufacturing of these social and cultural artifacts, and how they might be useful for constructing new and more socially just approaches to (languages) instruction and instructional languages, writ large. Our focus is not only on a new theory of rhetorical hybridity but also a needed approach on cultural linguistic pluralism aimed at addressing questions of educational (in)equity.
On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, from 1:30 to 5:00 P.M. at the CCCC in Houston, the LPC will offer a half-day workshop entitled “Language and Lived Experience as Strategies for Writing and Coalition Building within a New Rhetoric of Difference,” which focuses on how to integrate issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, and age into classrooms in order to create writing spaces that facilitate social change. The workshop reflects three of the charges of the Language Policy Committee (LPC): to Identify effective pedagogies for advancing language diversity and meeting needs of English Language Learners, to examine aspects of language in relation to colonization, and to offer convention workshops. We will draw on the National Language Policy (NLP), Students’ Right to Their Own Language (SRTOL), Kerschbaum’s theorization of the New Rhetoric of Difference (2014), Perryman-Clark (2012) and Williams (2014), as well as multilingual scholars such as Haneda (2009), Garcia (2006) to invite teachers to advocate for Twenty-First Century pedagogies grounded in rhetoric/s of difference. As Kerschbaum explicates, existent institutional discourses and stereotypes mark students of color and students with diverse social identities as “different.” Rhetoric/s of difference, though, receive too little attention within the field. The LPC initiates a bold call to action requiring teachers to rethink their linguistic, social and cultural attitudes and highlight identity work as the basis for powerful acts of self-reflection, rhetorical negotiation and coalition building. Please join us!
The Language Policy Committee is charged to:
Charge 1: Devise bold strategies and concrete tactics to protect language rights and promote language diversity in writing programs for legislators, policy-makers, and the public.
Charge 2: Pull together a resource on effective pedagogies for advancing language diversity and meeting needs of English Language Learners
Charge 3: Identify potential partners (groups, contacts, compatible missions to ours) for language diversity initiatives such as English Plus.
Charge 4: Continue to update the bibliography for SRTOL and devise strategies for highlighting and promoting this important concept in a new way.