Language and Education in the Lusophone Countries: Theory and Practice (Funded Project Report 2020-2021)

The special issue entitled Language and Education in the Lusophone Countries: Theory and Practice / Língua e educação nos países lusófonos: teoria e prática, edited by Dr Nicola Bermingham (University of Liverpool) along with guest editors Dr Paul O’Neill (University of Sheffield) and Professor Alexandre Timbane (Universidade de Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-Brasileira, Brasil) has been published in Modern Languages Open, a fully open access platform.

The special issue brings together academics and practitioners working on language and education in the Lusophone world. Thanks to generous funding from UCML, all articles are available in the language they were originally written in (Portuguese, English, and Galician) as well as in their translated form, thus maximising opportunities for dissemination and impact and challenging the Anglocentricity of academic scholarship. An inclusive and open approach to Languages scholarship, and accessibility to members of the academic community are at the centre of this project – both as regards the bilingual, open access nature of the publication, but also the theme of the issue, which focuses on issues of linguistic inequality.

The contributions examine the tensions between the linguistic diversity in the Lusophone world, and the largely monolingual education systems that remain in place to this day. Taking the education system as a key site for the reproduction as well as the contestation of inequality, the issue reflects on how deeply engrained monolingual ideologies serve to marginalise local languages and local varieties of Portuguese, and the implications this has for access to and participation in education, and for broader questions of social mobility and social justice. As such, the issue takes a critical approach and contends that linguistic research can make a crucial contribution to understanding social, ideological and political power struggles.

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