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Academic Paper

Title: Language Policy and Education: Space and Place in Multilingual Post-Soviet States
Author: Kara D. Brown
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article surveys recent English-language research on language policy and education in the 15 countries that are now two decades removed from Soviet hegemony. I examine how researchers employ geometric concepts such as asymmetry, parallelism, and trajectories to analyze multilingualism in this region. I then discuss the spatial turn in post-Soviet scholarship on language policy and schooling through attention to the ways language is produced in and through place, the management and experience of language in particular places, and the production of place through language and schooling. In conclusion, I argue that states have inherited schools with a Soviet-era commitment to multilingualism, but have been challenged to transform them into new types of post-Soviet plurilingual institutions—ones that generally promote the titular language, create space for instruction in minority languages, and educate in a foreign language. Evidence from these countries also speaks powerfully to the ways teachers, students, and parents use school space in dynamic ways to negotiate community boundaries and cultivate particular national identities through deliberate language practice.


This article appears IN Annual Review of Applied Linguistics Vol. 33, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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