Emancipatory and critical language education: A plea for translingual possible selves and worlds

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Author list: Formosinho M D, Jesus P R, Reis C
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Critical Studies in Education (1750-8487)
Volume number: 60
Issue number: 2
Start page: 168
End page: 186
Number of pages: 19
ISSN: 1750-8487
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Language is the main resource for meaningful action, including the very formation of selves and psychosocial identities, shaped by practical norms, beliefs, and values. Thus, language education constitutes one of the most powerful means for both social reproduction and social production and ideological maintenance and utopian innovation. In this paper, we attempt to emphasise the invaluable psychosocial, political, economic, and cultural function of language education in order to propose a critical view of the current transition from the monolingual to a multilingual paradigm. We maintain that multilingual approaches tend to serve the neoliberal framework and reproduce its systemic inequalities. Therefore, we argue in favour of emancipatory multilingual practices that could embody a translingual pedagogy capable of promoting the development of capabilities, the recognition of otherness, and the cultivation of diversity. Rooted in critical theory, namely in Foucault’s notion of subjectification and Freire’s view of conscientisation, an emancipatory translingual pedagogy would enable and empower every learner to synthesise a contextually creative field of new semantic and pragmatic relationships. Critical language education would enhance the ethos of biophilia that fosters what we term the poetics of communality and selfhood, that is to say, the proactive commitment to expanding symbolic and existential novelty


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Last updated on 2019-16-09 at 11:27