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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Languages, Identities, and Accents: Perspectives from the 2010 Linguistic Diversity Conference

  • Author(s): Anya, Uju
  • Avineri, Netta
  • Carris, Lauren
  • Valencia, Valeria
  • et al.

In our introduction to this special edition of Issues in Applied Linguistics we, the co-editors, discuss our motivations for organizing the 2010 Linguistic Diversity Conference in response to reports that the Arizona Department of Education had instructed districts to remove teachers who spoke “heavily accented” English from their ESL classrooms. We outline our objectives of civic engagement, advancement of public understanding, and promotion of sound research-based language policies, as well as our ultimate goals of advocacy, change, and social justice. We describe the article contributions to this special edition, organized under two main sections that primarily argue that 1) language is more than a system of signs and symbols; and 2) accents are co-constructed by speakers and hearers in interaction. We share our hope that this volume can serve as an informative resource for diverse stakeholders in language scholarship, education, and policymaking. Finally, we invite others to dialogue with us through new media and join our campaign against linguistic misinformation and intolerance.

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