The CCCC National Language

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MLA leaders Rosemary G. Feal, Wholesale Jewelry Mary Louise Pratt, and Domna C. Stanton, as well as Heidi Byrnes and Leo van Lier, among others, have been working to ensure that foreign language educators are included in the process of developing this national language policy.9.


Their engagement with this policy debate is motivated in part by their desire to ensure not only that the federal government’s support for foreign language education is a long-term, sustained commitment that encompasses all levels of schooling, but also that the national language policy supports the learning of languages generally, not just the DoD “investment languages.”



Although foreign language Jewelry On Sale scholars have identified this national security language policy as a central disciplinary concern, many scholars in English studies have yet to explore this issue.



Because the shaping and implementation of this policy is still in progress, their participation in the debate is vital. The policy could determine the languages that many schools decide to teach, and it could influence the attitudes and worldviews that are cultivated through language arts education. English scholars need to join this effort in order to prompt conversations about what the nation’s language needs are and how a national language policy can create a language-competent society to meet them.


Geneva Smitherman, who helped draft the CCCC’s National Language Policy, explains that the CCCC’s language policies provide compositionists with the “intellectual basis and rhetorical frameworks” for participating in such debates about language policy and for crafting public arguments about the political, cultural, and social value of linguistic diversity.



With its National Language Policy, for example, the CCCC calls for multilingual language learning to be directed to the ends not only of enabling the United States to “participate more effectively in worldwide activities” but also “unifying] diverse American communities” and “enlarging] our view of what is human.”



In addition to drawing on these rhetorical frameworks for shaping macro-level interventions in op-ed pages and congressional panels, however, English scholars also can read the CCCC National Language Policy as a heuristic to inform their work in teaching, curriculum development, and institutional policy writing.




Operationalizing the discipline’s National Language Policy statement at the local level can be a means of influencing how the national security language policy shapes literacy education and writing instruction. Ultimately, the CCCC National Language Policy prompts scholars to work within the present policy debate to broaden the definition of the nation’s language needs so that it represents a wider range of cultural, economic, political, and social interests in U.S. public life.

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