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Academic Paper

Title: Multilingualism in Canada: Policy and Education in Applied Linguistics Research
Author: Diane Dagenais
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: Increasing multilingualism in Canada has captured the interest of applied linguists who investigate what it implies for policy and educational practice. This article provides a review of recent discussions of Canadian policy in the literature, current research on multilingual learners, and emerging innovations in multilingual pedagogies. The literature on policy indicates that some researchers treat policy as text and identify disjunctions between policy documents and the reality of a linguistically and culturally diverse population, while others view it as discursive practice and document how policy is constructed locally through language in response to a changing environment. The research on multilingual learners is based primarily on field-based reports that reveal how multilingual language practices are complex, dynamic, and ideological, and are tied to identity construction. The growing number of innovations in multilingual pedagogies suggests that more educators are beginning to see identity work and multimodal literacies as central to teaching students of diverse origins. This article concludes that there is a gap between official language policy and research on multilingualism in Canada.


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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