Lecture by Elana Shohamy, April 27, 2007

Language Policy in Multilingual Israel: Ideologies, Conflicts, Rights, and Research

by Elana Shohamy, (Professor, Tel Aviv University), Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley

Language policies, whether on the educational or societal level, are products of political, social, economic, and education ideologies. As such, languages and language policies are used as major symbols of ideological conflicts and debates, especially manifested in multilingual nation-states where multiple languages are often interpreted as closely related to loyalty, patriotism, inclusion, and exclusion.  In Israel, a nation-state founded on a strong ideology and consisting of large groups of immigrants (about 20% arriving from the former Soviet Union since the 1990s and an equal number of Arabs for whom Hebrew is not a home language), language serves as a major symbol of identity, belonging, and participation. This talk will focus on how the conflicts and debates are manifested within a number of languages in light of the domination of Hebrew.

Friday, April 27, 2007
3:00-5:00 pm, 2515 Tolman Hall