FAH-DENG Guest Lecture: ‘Language, Education, and Linguistic Entrepreneurship: A Critical Perspective’ by Prof. Peter De Costa, Michigan State University


Prof. Peter De Costa


7 Jan 2019







In light of the growing influence of neoliberalism (Block et. al, 2012) and enterprise culture (Ong, 2006), independence and a willingness to take risks are increasingly emphasized as societal values that individuals and organizations are expected to cultivate. Building on the neoliberal turn in applied linguistics and more specifically De Costa, Park and Wee’s (2016) notion of linguistic entrepreneurship, which is defined as “the act of aligning with the moral imperative to strategically exploit language-related resources for enhancing one’s worth in the world” (p. 696), I take a critical perspective in examining how linguistic entrepreneurship is instantiated in a range of education contexts and relate it to a broader embrace of audit culture (De Costa, Park & Wee, in press). In particular, I investigate (1) the material conditions that have enabled and constrained the emergence of linguistic entrepreneurship, and (2) its impact on individuals from China and Nepal as they negotiate the complex dynamics surrounding calls for greater accountability, competitiveness, and profit.



Peter De Costa (PhD) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Languages at Michigan State University. His primary areas of research are identity and ideology in SLA. He is the author of The Power of Identity and Ideology in Language Learning (Springer, 2016). He also recently edited Ethics in Applied Linguistics Research (Routledge, 2016). His work has appeared in AILA Review, Applied Linguistics ReviewInternational Journal of Applied Linguistics, Language LearningLanguage PolicyLanguage TeachingLinguistics and Education, Research in the Teaching of English, SystemTESOL Quarterly, and The Modern Language Journal. He recently guest edited special journal issues on scalar approaches to language learning and teaching (Linguistics and Education, 2016; with Suresh Canagarajah), teacher identity (The Modern Language Journal, 2017; with Bonny Norton), study abroad research methodologies (System, 2017; with Hima Rawal and Irina Zaykovskaya), and World Englishes and Second Language Acquisition (World Englishes, 2018; with Kingsley Bolton). He is the co-editor of TESOL Quarterly.


All are welcome




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