GSE Faculty Research

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Journal Article

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Language Teaching





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A decade ago, Hornberger & Johnson proposed that the ethnography of language planning and policy (ELPP) offers a useful way to understand how people create, interpret, and at times resist language policy and planning (LPP). They envisioned ethnographic investigation of layered LPP ideological and implementational spaces, taking up Hornberger's plea five years earlier for language users, educators, and researchers to fill up and wedge open ideological and implementational spaces for multiple languages, literacies, identities, and practices to flourish and grow rather than dwindle and disappear. With roots going back to the 1980s and 1990s, ethnographic research in LPP had been gathering momentum since the turn of the millennium. This review encompasses selected ethnographic LPP research since 2000, exploring affordances and constraints of this research in yielding comparative and cumulative findings on how people interpret and engage with LPP initiatives. We highlight how common-sense wisdom about the perennial gap between policy and practice is given nuance through ethnographic research that identifies and explores intertwining dynamics of top-down and bottom-up LPP activities and processes, monoglossic and heteroglossic language ideologies and practices, potential equality and actual inequality of languages, and critical and transformative LPP research paradigms.

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This article has been published in a revised form in Language Teaching []. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press.



Date Posted: 09 November 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.