Foreign language education policy in Ireland: A discourse-historical analysis
Keywords:discourse analysis, multilingualism, foreign language education, policy
This paper investigates the effects of contextual change on the body of education policy discourse in Ireland, and specifically on discourse pertaining to foreign language education. Discourse-Historical Analysis of key documents reveals a range of micro-, meso- and macro-environmental factors which have had a detrimental effect on foreign language policy discourse over the last twenty years. The objective of this study is to expose complex discursive strategies and tools which serve to convey the relationship between the micro-, meso- and macro-environmental factors and to investigate the effect of contextual change on the body of foreign language education policies. This will be achieved in two ways; firstly, by deconstructing the relevant documents in order to reveal how concepts, problems, causes, imperatives and inevitabilities are discursively framed; and secondly, by examining intertextual connections between texts which make up the discursive sample. It is anticipated that researchers and policymakers alike regardless of the capacity in which they deal with the body of foreign language education policy will find these findings of interest.
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