English as a subtle technology of distraction in postcolonial contexts: Undoing linguistic colonialism by linguistic coloniality

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Abstract

This paper discusses how the political interplay between English-in-society and English-in-education policy in the Global South(s) facilitates what I term ‘English as a subtle technology of policy distraction’ in postcolonial spheres that were colonised by languages other than English. ‘English as a subtle technology of policy distraction’ is conceptualised and operationalised as a theoretical and analytical framework through which current issues in language planning and policy within postcolonial contexts where colonial languages such as French, Spanish, Russian and German, etc function as the first or second language are framed, justified, enacted, contested and critically examined. I unpack how the state, politicians, officials and stakeholders make use of the political instrumentalization of English to assign credibility to their discourses that overshadow the core issues and root causes of the crises in the Moroccan education sector such as contract teachers, lack of infrastructure, classroom crowdedness and successive unsuccessful reforms. Political instrumentalization enables scholars to deconstruct the process of gaining access to the political implications of a technical subject (language in education) and its intersection with wider social problems (coloniality, dependency, insufficient quality of education …) which previously had not been treated politically. Copyright © 2024 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Issues in Language Planning
Early online dateMay 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2024

Citation

R’boul, H. (2024). English as a subtle technology of distraction in postcolonial contexts: Undoing linguistic colonialism by linguistic coloniality. Current Issues in Language Planning. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/14664208.2024.2355392

Keywords

  • English-in-society
  • English-in-education policy
  • English as a subtle technology of policy distraction
  • Political instrumentalization
  • Politics of distraction
  • Colonial languages

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