Researching language-in-education in diverse, twenty-first century settings

Eleni Mariou, Florence Bonacina-pugh, Deirdre Martin, Marilyn Martin-jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
284 Downloads (Pure)


The articles in this special issue present research carried out in diverse linguistic contexts in the United Kingdom. The focus is primarily on Scotland and England, two educational jurisdictions where there is increasing divergence in language-in-education policy and practice. The articles discuss research into different forms of language-in-education provision, so our introduction traces the historical context for the emergence of these forms of provision. We then turn to the authors' reflections on the role of research in garnering knowledge about teaching/learning practices in specific settings, identifying the strengths and/or limits of particular practices and contributing to educational debates. We also compare the research lenses adopted in each study, showing that most studies focus in on the detail of classroom practices and learning processes, while one article takes a wide angle, historical approach and builds an account of shifts in policy discourses. In our concluding section, we argue that, if we are to build a fuller understanding of language-in-education policy and practice in contemporary contexts of diversity, we need research of both types. Language policies need to be seen – not as prescriptions that are ‘fixed’ in texts – but as fluid discursive processes that unfold in different ways, on different scales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
JournalLanguage and Education
Issue number2
Early online date14 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2016


  • Diversities
  • Scotland
  • England
  • policy history
  • Policy discourse
  • classroom practice


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