International Conference on Language Policy in the Creole Speaking Caribbean

Event Date: 
Jan 13 2011 - 8:30am - 4:30pm
Event Date: 
Jan 14 2011 - 8:30am - 6:00pm

Professor John Baugh of the Washington University in St. Louis, will deliver the keynote address at the Opening Ceremony for the International Conference on Language Rights and Policy in the Creole-Speaking Caribbean which takes place in Jamaica on January 13 and 14, 2011.

Professor Baugh is Professor Emeritus of Education and Linguistics at Stanford University and Margaret Bush Wilson Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as Chair of the African and African American Studies Programme at that institution. He has had a distinguished academic career focusing on African American Vernacular English (AAVE), commonly known as Ebonics.  His convictions about the educational disadvantages faced by poor African American and Hispanic minorities in the USA drove him to set up a successful model High School in East Palo Alto in California - The Eastside College Preparatory School, catering specifically to the socially and economically disadvantaged.

Professor Baugh’s address at the conference will be on the topic of language discrimination. He has championed the cause of language discrimination, identifying the phenomenon of ‘linguistic profiling’, a term which has come to be strongly associated with him.  His recent research work and his public and media presentations focus on the extent to which the way one speaks determines access to housing and a range of other social benefits in the USA. His work on language discrimination has also looked at populations who have suffered various forms of linguistic discrimination, including deaf communities as well as speakers of language or dialects who lack fluency in the dominant linguistic norms of their respective societies.

Organized by the Jamaican Language Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona, the conference brings together professional linguists, and representatives of all language stakeholders, including governments. Main themes of the conference will be Creole and International Languages in the Education System, Language and the Law and Policy on Indigenous and Endangered Languages.

The final output of the conference is to be a Charter on Language Rights and Language Policy for the region which will provide a regional framework for resolving the language problems of the Creole-Speaking Caribbean.  The charter is the product of on-going process of intense debate and discussion by a team of 30 international experts on Caribbean languages.  It covers language policy and rights issues in education, the public services, the law and culture. The public is invited to a public forum at which the draft Charter should be presented on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 4 pm at the Knutsford Court Hotel.

The Mona Visitors' Lodge and Conference Centre and the Knutsford Court Hotel
Event Image: 
Contact Information
The Jamaica Language Unit (JLU)
(876) 970-2953

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