Browsing UA Faculty Research by Publisher "UNIV FEDERAL SANTA CATARINA, NUCLEO TRADUCAO"
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Building a New Public Idea About MultilingualismNow nearly 20 years ago, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and during her Presidency of the Modern Language Association of America, the Latin Americanist Mary Louise Pratt penned and published an essay on "Building a New Public Idea about Language." Looking around a linguistically diverse United States in the new twenty-first century, she asked "What's wrong with this linguistic picture?" Proposition 227 in the US State of California had all but eliminated bilingual public education in 1998. and the young people she met, whose "lives had producted strong incentives for them to learn and use other languages [than English, ...] were almost entirely on their own" (111) in a country that continued to earn its nickname as a cementerio de lenguas (ibid). Pratt's prompt to academics, that we need to build "a new public idea about language" was in fact intended more expansively. as she specified further. to build a new public idea about "language, language learning. multilingualism, and citizenship" (112) and to "rediscover [...] the pleasures and pains of living multilingually" in "a country linguistically unequipped to apprehend its geopolitical situation." (122)