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Shaping Language Policy in the U.S.

Shaping Language Policy in the U.S.

The Role of Composition Studies

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Scott Wible


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)
6 x 9


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About the Book

In Shaping Language Policy in the U.S.: The Role of Composition Studies, author Scott Wible explores the significance and application of two of the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s key language policy statements: the 1974 Students’ Right to Their Own Language resolution and the 1988 National Language Policy. Wible draws from a wealth of previously unavailable archived material and professional literature to offer for the first time a comprehensive examination of these policies and their legacies that continue to shape the worlds of rhetoric, politics, and composition.

Wible demonstrates the continued relevance of the CCCC’s policies, particularly their role in influencing the recent, post-9/11 emergence of a national security language policy. He discusses in depth the role the CCCC’s language policy statements can play in shaping the U.S. government’s growing awareness of the importance of foreign language education, and he offers practical discussions of the policies’ pedagogical, professional, and political implications for rhetoric and composition scholars who engage contemporary debates about the politics of linguistic diversity and language arts education in the United States. Shaping Language Policy in the U.S. reveals the numerous ways in which the CCCC language policies have usefully informed educators’ professional practices and public service and investigates how these policies can continue to guide scholars and teachers in the future.



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“Wible has extended the discussion of language rights within the field of rhetoric and composition by situating the Students’ Rights statement within a range of language policy activities, both inside and outside the discipline. Wible’s research thus lifts beyond inter field finger-pointing the conversation about why a language policy statement failed to yield any pedagogical initiatives; he instead illuminates the impact of the political and institutional climate of higher education, increasingly corporatized in its dependencies. Wible strikes the freshest ground in his discussion of language during wartime, arguing that the political moves toward English Only and the assumption that useful communication in the field of warfare meant communication in one language manifestly hampered, from the military’s point of view, operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This chapter raises ethical concerns involved in treating languages as tools, weapons, or commodities whose values fluctuate with the prevailing source of national threat—concerns that scholars in language fields in higher education have yet to consider in sufficient depth.”—Catherine Prendergast, professor and director of the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign