Academic Language Barriers: Professional Stigma or Recognition and Success?

Friday, July 18, 2014: 3:45 PM
Room: Booth 62
Oral Presentation
Laura GARCIA LANDA , Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, Mexico
In the last decades, university language policies have strengthened the use of English for publishing papers, books and articles, even in non-English speaking countries such as Spain and Mexico, for example. This fact has led to a series of academic practices that may place both academics and students at stakes with linguistic and extra-linguistic uses of codes unknown to them and their English teachers. This practice surpasses their real conditions of coping with those matters in a short term period, which triggers ill practices that place them in face threatening situations that later may become a barrier for achieving this institutional goal.

Within this context, English holds the status of the language of academic and professional communication. In this sense, it has become a privileged language in the academic and professional realm, where academic production and activities in other languages are stigmatized. We analyze implicit and explicit language policies in macro and micro school practices where language status places individuals in asymmetric relationships, and see how these agents have become critical or not to their state of alienation, commodization and consecration. We also analyze their cultural trajectories, cultural fields and cultural capital in order to see how they resignify their habitus.

This paper presents how the position of English as a professional language has brought “natural academic practices” that disfavor researchers, teachers and students in carrying out their daily academic activities and in attaining academic recognition and success and favor those who respect the doxa  (Bourdieu, 2001).