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Language Ecology

Joe Darwin Palmer
TESOL Quarterly
Vol. 8, No. 3 (Sep., 1974), pp. 225-232
DOI: 10.2307/3586167
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3586167
Page Count: 8
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Language Ecology
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Abstract

Most people, including language teachers, lack knowledge and understanding of the true situation of language in the real world. Such teachers perpetuate folk beliefs and attitudes to the detriment of their pupils. People in authority who make policy decisions about languages are often the most ignorant in regard to language. They inadvertently use language policy to maintain repression and confusion because they are ignorant of the ecology of language. Language ecology is a metaphorical conceit that enables us to organize our knowledge about the spoken and written manifestations of language. It gives us a set of questions that helps us know more about what we ought to do in the classroom, and about the political, social, cultural, and psychological consequences of language teaching.

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