Through workshops with students, interviews with authors and artists’ illustrations, this project, led by Dr Ian Cushing, is exploring how children’s literature might be used as a vehicle for understanding, describing, exploring and resisting structural language discrimination.
Our aims are:
- To explore how young readers at KS3 might use contemporary YA fiction as a vehicle for exploring, understanding and interrogating language discrimination.
- To move beyond thinking about language discrimination as individualistic toward an understanding based on structural and intersectional forms of discrimination.
- To combine analysis of literary texts, students’ reader-responses and interviews with YA authors.
- To work with artists who report lived experiences of language discrimination and use students’ responses to literature as prompts for creating art and illustrations.
- To develop, in collaboration with students, teachers, authors and artists, a ‘toolkit’ for identifying where and why language discrimination occurs – and for exploring ways of addressing it – which can be taken up and used by educators in a range of contexts.
Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project
Dr Ian Cushing - I joined Brunel as a Lecturer in Education in September 2019 after a post at University College London and the completion of my doctorate in Educational Linguistics.
My current research focuses on language policies in educational contexts, particularly in relation to racialised and classed language stigma and surveillance. I examine the ways in which standard language and raciolinguistic ideologies get transformed into policies and practices, and how these are constructed, negotiated and resisted by teachers and students. My work looks at how we might address these issues through the use of critical, sociolinguistic tools, culturally sustaining pedagogies and the use of children's literature as a vehicle for interrogating language stigma in schools.
My work has appeared in a range of journals across education policy, educational linguistics and language policy. I am currently preparing a monograph (Palgrave, due 2022) entitled Standards, Stigma, Surveillance: Language Policy in England's Schools. This will apply a genealogical analysis to standard language ideologies and policies in England's schools, critiquing the notion of panlinguistic surveillance in which stigmatised language practices (talk, writing, gesture and other semiotic resources) are monitored and suppressed.
Most of my publications are open access.
Related Research Group(s)
Pedagogy, Policy and Professional Education - Focusing on pedagogy, policy and professional education, including the education of teachers.
Partnering with confidence
Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.
Project last modified 19/10/2021