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Language policing the purist and monolinguist beliefs in the English as a Second Language classroom
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Language and Culture. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2011 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

English is the official policy in the school (under observation) for English as a Second Language (ESL) Classroom. However, the participants here actually police each other’s and their own language choice to accomplish this language policy. Language policing here refers to the collaborative co-construction and orientation of the participants to the micro-level language policy in situ. The participants’ indigenous way of interpreting the official policy is negotiated, challenged and accomplished online. The official policy of the classroom is based on purist and monolinguist belief which entails that “English-only” is spoken in the classroom both by the teacher and the pupils. Swedish is deemed as a forbidden language. To keep “English-only” rule, however, alternate practices of policing emerge to avoid Swedish in the class. The study highlights the alternate practices displayed by the participants which emerge because of language policing.

The empirical data of the study comprises of over 20 hours of video recordings of ESL classrooms in an International Swedish school. The data was collected between the years 2008-2010 in the grades 8 and 9. There are 17 incidences of language policing in the data. The English language teachers of this particular school follow an “English-only” policy which is enforced through a point system.

The study aims to contribute to the research in the micro orientation of the second language (L2) classroom (Hellermann, 2008; Cekaite, 2006; Seedhouse, 2004). It is also an attempt to see how through talk and actions participants defy the policies in practice that are monolinguist and purist.


Cekaite, A. (2006) Getting started: Children’s participation and language learning in an L2 classroom. Tema Barn: Linköping Studies in Arts and Science.

Hellermann, J. (2008) Social Actions for Classroom Language Learning. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Seedhouse, P. (2004) The Interactional Architecture of the Language Classroom: A Conversation Analysis Perspective. Oxford. Blackwell.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
language policing, conversation analysis, classroom interaction, repair
Keyword [sv]
språkpolis, samtalanalys, klassrum interaktion, repair
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70471OAI: diva2:439823
IIEMCA, Fribourg, Switzerland
Available from: 2011-09-09 Created: 2011-09-09 Last updated: 2011-09-16

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Amir, Alia
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ReferencesLink to record
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