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Language Policy Committee (November 2018)

Related Information

Students’ Right to Their Own Language

CCCC Guideline, April 1974, reaffirmed November 2003, annotated bibliograhy added August 2006


Language Knowledge and Awareness Survey

Conducted by the Language Policy Committee. This is the final research report from January 2000. The full survey can be found at the end of the report.

Committee Members

Kim Brian Lovejoy, Co-Chair
Elaine Richardson, Co-Chair

Isabel Baca
April Baker-Bell
Qwo-Li Driskill
David Green
Austin Jackson
Rashidah Jaami Muhammad
Gail Okawa
Octavio Pimentel
Geneva Smitherman
Denise Troutman
Victor Villanueva
Bonnie Williams
Ana Celia Zentella

March 2018 Update

Through the work of the Language Policy Committee, the CCCC and the NCTE passed two language policies, “Students’ Right to Their Own Language” (April 1974, reaffirmed November 2003, annotated bibliograhy added August 2006, reaffirmed November 2014) and the “National Language Policy” (March 1988, updated 1992, revised March 2015), that were designed to set the tone for policy and pedagogy development to support language diversity in the classroom. Despite a plethora of research on language differences in the decades since these policies were adopted, experienced professionals in both organizations continue to express concern about current teaching practices and lack of academic preparation in language diversity of college composition instructors. The Language Policy Committee (LPC) has conducted numerous annual panels and preconvention workshops on language diversity and the teaching of composition, dating from 1988 and including the 2017 Convention. In addition to conducting the Language Knowledge and Awareness Survey of CCCC and NCTE membership and a major research report of this work (1996-2000), the LPC wrote the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric publication, Language Diversity in the Classroom:  From Intention to Practice (SIU Press, 2003). It also produced an annotated update of the bibliography to Students’ Right to Their Own Language (2004-06). Our work has included reviewing and critiquing the website post President Trump’s Inauguration, with regard to coded language usage and propaganda in conjunction with the Trump administration’s immigration and language/ education priorities, reflecting unethical and immoral stances which promote a meritocracy based on market rather than humanizing values, abandonment of the idea and practice of the public good, and suffering of minoritized, vulnerable, and poor people.

On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, from 1:30 to 5:00 P.M. at the CCCC in Kansas City, the LPC will offer a half-day workshop entitled “Languaging for Love: Building a Community of Compassionate Composers,” which presents a unique opportunity for the Language Policy Committee (LPC) to address the continuing need for our discipline to engage in efforts to ensure access and justice for people marginalized by color, language, gender, sexuality, class, disability and other socially constructed identities. The first part of the workshop consists of brief viewings of four targeted video clips that highlight complex issues of oppression and social inequality. At the end of each clip, participants will be asked to develop an individual written response to a set of focus questions and dialogue with each other. In the second part of the workshop, participants will write a collaborative piece that incorporates and extends the compassionate composing ideas begun in the first half. Participants will include specific examples of laboring for love (defined as laboring for liberation) that emerged in their initial responses to questions. The focus of this collaborative writing is to share specific strategies for teaching transformative writing that we can all use in our classrooms and that will continuously challenge us to uncover and disrupt our blindspots. Through this activity we will build community and a deeper awareness of ourselves as interconnected. Please join us!

Committee Charge

The Language Policy Committee is charged to:

Charge 1: Devise bold strategies and concrete tactics to protect language rights and promote language diversity in writing programs for legislators, policy-makers, and the public.

Charge 2: Pull together a resource on effective pedagogies for advancing language diversity and meeting needs of English Language Learners

Charge 3: Identify potential partners (groups, contacts, compatible missions to ours) for language diversity initiatives such as English Plus.

Charge 4: Continue to update the bibliography for SRTOL and devise strategies for highlighting and promoting this important concept in a new way.

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