HomeCurric 764 (Fall 2017): Globalization and Linguistic Human Rights
Francois Tochon
Course Content
This seminar includes an introduction to language instructional policies and linguistic
human rights in education. It examines teaching in a multilingual and global society. It
explores the various dimensions of the language used in the schools for instruction in
different countries during the globalization process: language policies, curricula and their
ideologies, the manifestation of linguistic and cross-cultural discrimination, language wars
and linguistic human rights: how the language of schooling gets politicized within the
globalization process.
General Description
Throughout history, languages have been linked to political power. Globalization affects
languages and cultures. Languages are constantly changing. Global policies accelerate the
trend. Multilingual situations are increasingly problematic. Half of the world languages
may disappear within two decades. Linguistic genocide and linguicism partly explain this
• Linguistic genocide is doing mental and physical harm to a minority population in
transferring its children to the majority, "prohibiting the use of the language of the
group in daily intercourse or in schools, or the printing and circulation of
publications in the language of the group". This definition comes from the original
Article III(1) of the final draft of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide (E 794, 1948) of the United Nations.
• Linguicism refers to ideologies, structures, and practices that are used to legitimate,
create, regulate, and reproduce an unequal division of power and resources (both
concrete and abstract) between groups that are defined on the basis of language
Colonial representations of [superior] Self and [inferior] Other involving race, gender,
ethnicity, class, and language, are constantly re/constructed in curricula, policies and
practices related with foreign languages. The seminar will discuss teaching in a global
society, the manifestation of linguicism and cross-cultural clashes, language curricula and
linguistic human rights. We will inquire into their implications through current research
approaches and theorize their impact on curriculum and instruction.