The Importance Of Language Ideology

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On language ideology

A crucial term is ‘language ideology’. There are several definitions of it. “Language ideology can be seen as establishing a connection between social structures and forms of talk. The ideologies of language are significant for social as well as linguistic analysis, because they are not only about language, as one might think first. Related to personal identity, aesthetics, morality an epistemology” (Woolard & Schieffelin 1994: 55). This was one of them. Dorte Lønsmann writes about the language policy and the language policy in an international workplace in Denmark. She mentions the blue-collar workers who have a Danish background, having only little knowledge of English. One of the employees remarks that more English
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In the company described by Lønsmann, English should be used to connect international employees but one could presume that not everyone follows the model. Maybe there is an English language policy the school in Mumbai and the same might occur. Students will speak their ‘own’ language because they find it easier. However this will lead to exclusion of the classmates who do not understand that very language. “[…] English is now, more than ever, an essential passport to white-collar jobs”, explains Zareer Masani (Masani 2012). This thought reflects in Lønmann’s paper. Blue-collar contrasts white-collar, the first one refers to a labourer who does not have a well-paid job and the latter term is for an office employee with a ‘better’ job. Furthermore, I came across a section by Susan Gal in Language Ideologies: Practice and Theory, which I find interesting in order to discuss language ideology. She shows that language ideology is a delicate topic, on which it is not always evident to agree upon. Gal explicates four concerns which language ideology faces. These are the matters of scale, the “semiotics of dominance”, linguistic ideologies and other conceptual systems, and representations of sociolinguistic difference…show more content…
When there exist different cultural principles in relation to the institution, in my project the school, it can be problematic for people to fit in. On the “semiotics of dominance”, Gal adds that different ideologies lead to a confrontation of realities. So, different views on what language means will occur. The social positions play hereby a central role. When taking a closer look at language ideologies, it becomes remarkable that there is a multiplicity of them, that fact is important in theory when drawing comparisons to earlier studies (S&W&K 1998: 320). For some people, linguistic variation should symbolize domination (S&W&K 1998: 320). For every one reality is something has another meaning. Over the time, a multiplicity of language ideologies arose time changes. Some people with a higher social status, may act in favour of a linguistic variation, so they can differ from the others.

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