Localising Linguistic Citizenship


As “an attempt at a comprehensive political stance on language” (Stroud 2008:45), ‘Linguistic Citizenship’ (LC) deserves to be a mainstream concept in socio- and applied linguistics. But the evaluation of its potential needs to be context-sensitive, reckoning with the specifics of the environments where it is taken up.  This presentation reviews LC’s relevance to the UK, focusing on the ways in which we have been working with it at the Hub for Education & Language Diversity (www.kcl.ac.uk/held).  HELD aligns with LC’s commitment to democratic participation, to voice, to the heterogeneity of linguistic resources, and to the political value of linguistic understanding, as well as with LC’s emphasis on ground-level citizenship acts and practices, and its profound embedding in socio- and applied linguistics.  But education and everyday life are also influenced by state-centred definitions of citizenship, bringing state policy and provision into focus at HELD, as well as the role that universities can play promoting LC.  The presentation also discusses two concepts we have been working with that complement Linguistic Citizenship: the ‘Total Linguistic Fact’, an encapsulation of sociolinguistic thought that can be turned to the practical planning of classroom activity, bringing out its ideological dynamics; and the ‘diasporic local’, which creates new possibilities for multi-directional communication and learning by dispensing with ‘non-citizen outsider’ as a hegemonic classification in language teaching and language teacher education.

About the Speaker:

Ben Rampton is Professor of Applied & Sociolinguistics at King’s College London.  He does interactional sociolinguistics, and his interests cover urban multilingualism; youth, ethnicity and social class; conflict and (in)securitization; and language education policy and practice.  His books include Crossing: Language & Ethnicity among Adolescents (1996/2018) and Linguistic Practice in Changing Conditions (2022). He founded www.wpull.org and was founding convener of the UK Linguistic Ethnography Forum, directed the King’s ESRC Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Centre from 2011-2014, and is regularly involved in adult ESOL teaching with www.efalondon.org.

Date/Day: 24 February 2023, Friday

Time: 3.00pm - 5.00pm

Venue: SHHK Auditorium (Level B1-14)

In-person Registration: https://wis.ntu.edu.sg/pls/webexe88/REGISTER_NTU.REGISTER?EVENT_ID=OA23021318133459

Livestreaming on YouTube: NTU Distinguished Lectures in the Humanities Series - Ben Rampton - YouTube