GSE Publications

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

January 2008


Linguistic anthropological theories and methods have enriched our understanding of education. Almost all education is mediated by language, and linguistic anthropologists use both precise linguistic analyses and powerful anthropological theories to describe how educational language use establishes important social relations. Because educational institutions influence processes of concern to anthropologists - including the production of differentially valued identities, the circulation and transformation of cultural models, and nation states' establishment of official peoples - linguistic anthropological research on education also contributes to cultural and linguistic anthropology more generally. This article defines linguistic anthropology through its focus on language form, use, ideology, and domain, and it reviews linguistic anthropological research that focuses on these four aspects of educational language use.


Postprint version. Published in Annual Review of Anthropology, Volume 37, Issue 1, 2008, pages 37-51.
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schooling, communicative practice, semiotics, pragmatics, language ideology



Date Posted: 06 November 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.