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Using lexical variables to identify language ideologies in a policy corpus

Using lexical variables to identify language ideologies in a policy corpus <jats:p> Though theorised as important objects of inquiry, language ideologies – beliefs about the roles of language in society – are difficult to identify from texts because of their covert nature. Language ideologies of institutions are thought to have particular power with respect to subsequent policy development at micro- and macro levels. This study applies an inductive, corpus-based approach to identify language ideologies in a corpus of language policy texts using lexical items as variables. A corpus of more than one-million words of educational language policy texts from the 2010 Arizona Department of Education website was explored using collocate and factor analysis. The resulting solution accounted for 47.48 percent of the variance investigated. Five language ideology factors were identified and interpreted using quantitative and qualitative techniques: ‘written language as measurably communicative’, ‘language acquisition as systematically metalinguistic and monolingual’, ‘academic language as standard and informational’, ‘language acquisition as a process of decoding meaning’ and ‘nativeness of language skills as marking group variation’. The findings (a) present likely ideological stances of the Department of Education in a state where educational language policy development has been robust in recent years, and (b) validate the somewhat novel methodological approach used in this study. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Corpora Edinburgh University Press

Using lexical variables to identify language ideologies in a policy corpus

Corpora , Volume 9 (1): 57 – May 1, 2014

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References (45)

Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press
Subject
Linguistics
ISSN
1749-5032
eISSN
1755-1676
DOI
10.3366/cor.2014.0051
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> Though theorised as important objects of inquiry, language ideologies – beliefs about the roles of language in society – are difficult to identify from texts because of their covert nature. Language ideologies of institutions are thought to have particular power with respect to subsequent policy development at micro- and macro levels. This study applies an inductive, corpus-based approach to identify language ideologies in a corpus of language policy texts using lexical items as variables. A corpus of more than one-million words of educational language policy texts from the 2010 Arizona Department of Education website was explored using collocate and factor analysis. The resulting solution accounted for 47.48 percent of the variance investigated. Five language ideology factors were identified and interpreted using quantitative and qualitative techniques: ‘written language as measurably communicative’, ‘language acquisition as systematically metalinguistic and monolingual’, ‘academic language as standard and informational’, ‘language acquisition as a process of decoding meaning’ and ‘nativeness of language skills as marking group variation’. The findings (a) present likely ideological stances of the Department of Education in a state where educational language policy development has been robust in recent years, and (b) validate the somewhat novel methodological approach used in this study. </jats:p>

Journal

CorporaEdinburgh University Press

Published: May 1, 2014

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