investigating accountability

This thesis considers the extent to which dominant language ideologies have become internalized in the attitudes of students and teachers at a New Mexican high school. Due to New Mexico’s multicultural past, its student population is linguistically and racially diverse, making it a prime location for this study. While past literature has thoroughly documented how language ideologies affect students, this study places particular emphasis on how teachers’ abilities to instigate meaningful change are compromised as a result of internalized thoughts and beliefs. Through a demographic survey and informal interviews with two students and six educators, this paper highlights the ‘standard’ English (Flores & Rosa, 2015), English-only (Piller, 2016), and bilingual ideologies (Wright, 2005; Han, 2013) present among students and teachers at the high school of study. In doing so, it considers (1) the linguistic atmosphere of the high school, (2) how aware students and teachers seem to be of any subsisting language ideologies, and (3) how these ideologies impact students’ and teachers’ daily lives. 


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This study examines, through use of the linguistic landscape perspective, how accessible selected DC metro stations are in terms of language. It also takes into account the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) policies on language accessibility, as stated on their website. This research points to the need for greater awareness of and commitments toward improving language diversity throughout the DC metro system.

Paper available on request.

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power & politeness

This study focuses on how the HBO show Game of Thrones portrays deeply relevant linguistic issues, such as bilingualism, language discrimination, and gatekeeping via interpretation, through its use of the highly realistic constructed language Valyrian. Specifically, it focuses on a scene where protagonist Daenerys uses the interpreter Missandei to conduct a trade negotiation with slave dealer Kraznys. This scene highlights the unique relationship between power and politeness.

Paper and conference presentation available on request.