School principals as language policy makers

Elana Shohamy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


With the introduction of new language policy models of engaged language policy, school principals are involved in policy making so language policies in school reflect the special characteristics of schools and communities. Such policies provide advantages to the top-down policies when schools are expected to follow national policies assuming one policy fits all. This chapter describes an initiative of a course in language policy for 60-70 principals over one semester. It describes the background, deliberations, rational and content of the course which is part of an MA program for principals. The course is built around the specific languages taught in schools in the context of multilingual awareness, language as resource, heritage languages, language rights, and so on. The teaching methods consist of academic readings and discussions and three experiential tasks for the principals to identify with multilingual users in schools and in society. These include documenting linguistic landscape to get exposed to language diversity in the ecology, interviews with family members about language shifts and constructing ideal language policies for particular schools. All together the course provides one case to be expanded within a new language policy to be introduced into the educational system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Business of Words
Subtitle of host publicationWordsmiths, Linguists, and Other Language Workers
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351041775
ISBN (Print)9781138485266
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


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