Monday, January 6, 2020

"The Struggle for a Multilingual Future"

New from Oxford University Press: The Struggle for a Multilingual Future: Youth and Education in Sri Lanka by Christina P. Davis.

About the book, from the publisher:
In The Struggle for a Multilingual Future, Christina Davis examines the tension between ethnic conflict and multilingual education policy in the linguistic and social practices of Sri Lankan minority youth. Facing a legacy of post-independence language and education policies that were among the complex causes of the Sri Lankan civil war (1983 - 2009), the government has recently sought to promote interethnic integration through trilingual language policies in Sinhala, Tamil, and English in state schools.

Integrating ethnographic and linguistic research in and around two schools during the last phase of the war, Davis's research shows how, despite the intention of the reforms, practices on the ground reinforce language-based models of ethnicity and sustain ethnic divisions and power inequalities. By engaging with the actual experiences of Tamil and Muslim youth, Davis demonstrates the difficulties of using language policy to ameliorate ethnic conflict if it does not also address how that conflict is produced and reproduced in everyday talk.
Visit Christina P. Davis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue