Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Critical Language Research

Many advances have been made in critical sociolinguistics that challenge the received wisdom about the 'bounded' nature of language(s), and yet in the sphere of language policy and planning for speakers of indigenous languages in postcolonial settings, little use appears to be made of these advances. For example, in Latin America, language mixture in its many guises goes largely disregarded in the design of intercultural bilingual education programmes for indigenous people. Secondly, in a similar way, neither do the contributions of linguistic anthropology appear to have influence in applied spheres. Essentialist or mechanistic understandings of what language is, purist ideologies, and Western precepts about the epistemological and ontological nature of language, all of which belie the ethnographic evidence, seem to prevail. This one-day workshop brought together people from different disciplinary perspectives to share experience and understandings, both ethnographic and theoretical, discussing these paradoxes, identifying others, and exploring related questions.

Conference documents

Programme: Critical Language Research

Abstracts: Critical Language Research

Conference video

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5 

We thank our sponsors: Institute of Modern Language Research, University of London (Open World Research Initiative, OWRI); Newcastle Institute of Social Science; CLACS; School of Modern Languages