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Linguistic Justice Education

Linguistic Justice acknowledges that ALL languages and language forms are beautiful and valuable.

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What is Linguistic Justice?

  Linguist Justice image                          Justice, Authenticity, and Identity

Some of us grew up with, and therefore teach, what is referred to as "proper English." However, standard, or "proper English" is in reality, simply white mainstream English grammar and usage. It is only standard or proper for people who grew up speaking it. We need to think about how students who are from backgrounds other than the white mainstream might feel when they hear the term "Proper English?"

Linguistic Justice acknowledges that ALL languages and language forms are beautiful and valuable. Teaching only "proper English" reinforces white power structures and systems.

Linguisitic Justice is a commitment to challenge the belief that there is only one correct way to speak and write and other languages or dialects are substandard.

Linguistic Justice calls on us to change our perspective and to view the way a person naturally communicates as an asset rather than something to be corrected.

Linguistic Justice exposes how, “traditional approaches to language education do not account for the emotional harm, internalized linguistic racism, or consequences these approaches have on Black students sense of self and identity” (Baker-Bell, 2020).

Linguistic Justice “raises awareness of the ways that hierarchies of oppression and exploitation are kinds of inhumane systems that restrict, limit, deny, distort, or destroy individuals’ or groups’ of people access to their full potential” (NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, 2022).

Linguistic Justice is a pledge to teach critical grammar which “encourages students to develop a critical awareness of the variety of choices available to them with  regard to micro-level issues in order to empower them and equip them to push against biases based on ‘written’ accents’” (Walkowitz, 2020).

Linguistic Justice Learning Resources: A Starting Point

Cover image: Lingustic Justice, Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and PedogogyBlack Language Syllabust Logo

Re-Verb podcast logo

Rhetoricity Podcast Logo

 


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