Review Language, education and neoliberalism: Critical studies in Sociolinguistics (a review)


Language is an enabling tool. It is what gives you a unique selling point. It puts you ahead of the competition in the search for a job. Depending on the languages you speak, you can have a place in the globalised market place or stay in the backwaters. Education helps you get the diplomas you need to be recognised as a qualified language user. It is these diplomas that make you more attractive to the market. Therefore, education is a service industry that sets people on the road in their careers. These are some of the notions that form the received wisdom explored in this work. The book provides a wide ranging and, possibly to some eyes, eclectic mix of scenarios that consider and critique the view that the market place and attendant neoliberal ideologies have become the driving force behind education in general and language education as the specific focus of this volume. The collection covers a range of contexts from higher education institutes to secondary education, migrant programmes and the work of volunteers. Perhaps fittingly for a book that explores neoliberal ideologies and their impact, the studies are truly international, ranging from the US to China via Mexico, Korea, the Philippines and Switzerland.

MICHAEL CARRIER. CEO of Highdale Consulting, consults for a number of educational organisations. Has worked in language education for 30 years as a teacher, trainer, author, and director. Lectures worldwide. Formerly Director, English Language Innovation at the British Council in London, CEO of International House world schools network and Executive Director of Eurocentres USA. Focuses on teacher development, intercultural awareness, and the application of digital technology to education. Has published a number of articles and textbooks and most recently co-edited Digital Language Learning. He has written a number of ELT coursebooks and skills books, including the Front Page series, Business Circles, Intermediate Writing Skills and Spotlight Readers.

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