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Facilitating departures from monolingual discourses

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This article locates and critiques monolingual discourses within applied performance praxis in the United Kingdom and South Africa, suggesting starting points for facilitating multilingual actors’ vast linguistic resources. Set out as a theorized reflection of praxis, I interrogate how the facilitator can draw from actors’ linguistic resources without perpetuating dominant and potentially damaging language ideologies, by which I refer to the socially shared beliefs about language that shape and are shaped by language use. I discuss the powerful language ideologies connected to so-called ‘standard’ English and constructed by dominant institutions to discover how they are reproduced in performance praxis. I also analyse performance examples engaging complex linguistic conditions related to both student and refugee groups in the United Kingdom and South Africa to discuss varied facilitation approaches in context. Through my reflection, I reveal the complexities and opportunities for the facilitator navigating the socio-culturally and politically fraught terrain of language.

Keywords: language ideologies; linguistic resources; monolingual discourses; multilingual performance; performance praxis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000088091613University of Warwick, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2021

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