Social Justice and Language Policy in Education: The Canadian Research


153 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-7744-0434-5
DDC 306.4'4971





Reviewed by Jo-Anne Naslund

Jo-Anne Naslund is an education librarian at the University of British
Columbia Library.


This examination of Canadian scholarly research on social justice and
language policy in education (published between 1984 to 1995) is the
culmination of a three-year project conducted for the Social Sciences
and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The purpose of the project
was to identify Canadian scholarly literature relevant to aboriginal,
gender, bilingual, second-language, and nonstandard language issues.
Over 600 items of published research were selected for the database, and
the list of primary keywords used to determine the relevance of the
literature will be of help to other investigators. (A major limitation
of the project is that Canadian Ph.D. and M.A. theses were not
included.) Each chapter is devoted to a separate language-policy theme,
such as aboriginal language policy, gender and language policy, and
bilingual education policy. After presenting their views and findings,
the authors offer recommendations for reform (e.g., “all of Canada’s
aboriginal languages should be designated as official languages within
appropriately specified districts, areas, or territories”). Despite
some drawbacks—the writing is at times repetitive, French studies are
reported in French without any translation provided—the authors’
overview of Canadian education provides valuable directions for further
research and stimulates reflection on issues of injustice, language, and
policy. Recommended for students and scholars in education, sociology,
linguistics, and political science.


Corson, David, and Sylvie Lemay., “Social Justice and Language Policy in Education: The Canadian Research,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024,