Friday, February 10, 2012

Monolingual English Composition--NO!

Question: Are you ready for this?

Response: The authors of this article want to change from monolingual English in composition scholarship to translingual composition, which is written in different languages, including English.

Quote: “We offer a preliminary definition of a ‘translingual’ model of multilingualism that we believe would benefit composition scholarship, and we conclude with specific recommendations for how compositionists might pursue such a translingual approach in their work.” P. 270.

Quote: “For it remains the case, as we demonstrate, that our field operates on the tacit assumption that scholarship in composition is located—produced, found, and circulated—in English-medium, U.S.-centric publications only.” P. 271.

Quote: “The dominance of composition scholarship by English monolingualism is manifested not simply in the language(s) of the scholarship produced but the language(s) of scholarship cited, the bibliographic resources on which composition scholars rely, the forums in which the scholarship circulates, and the arguments it makes.” P. 272.

Quote: “In the larger arena of composition studies, we are arguing for a sea change of proportional magnitude: a change in what we recognize as normal and desirable in scholarly practice, publication and preparation for compositionists. While we should not underestimate the difficulties such a change entails, we should also not allow those difficulties to keep us from realizing the potential it holds for our field’s growth. Against the restrictions imposed by monolingualism, we can begin to move beyond English Only in all our work” p. 292.

Comment: You can see where this is headed. “Sea Change” is right. Along with this “sea change” from English only as writers comes a “sea change” in readers. I struggle every time quotes in Latin or French or German are used without English translations. This “sea change” could put the finishing touches to reading. (Not too seriously. But I’m not ready for these “sea changes.” I’m too old.) RayS.

Title: “Toward a Multilingual Composition Scholarship: From English Only to a Translingual Norm. “ B Horner, S NeCamp and C Donahue. College Composition and Communication (December 2011), 269-299.

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