This course will address a key question which concerns many pluralistic societies today: How is a pluralism of varieties (regional, social, ethnic) and even languages in a society to be dealt with in educational environments? We will not address this question on a general / global scale but with a clear focus on Britain.
In the first part of the course, we will equip ourselves with the necessary sociolinguistic toolkit, dealing with concepts such as (regional) variation, multilingualism, language and identity, and the role of education in language planning.
You will then, in the second part of the course, have the opportunity to investigate a specifc multilingual situation in the British Isles through this sociolinguistic lens, e.g. English and Welsh in Wales, Scots and English in Scotland, or Irish Gaelic and English in Ireland.
The results of your research will provide the basis for a podcast episode, which you will produce, and present in the final part of this course. If you'd like to get a glimpse of what students of the previous classes produced, you can lend the episodes your ear on www.multilingual-britain.com :-)