In this chapter I introduce the main ideology I will be focusing on in this volume, normative monolingualism, as well as a framework for the study of language ideology. As normative monolingualism takes somewhat dierent forms in di erent communities, the ideology in the U.S. in general and in southern Illinois in particular will be explored in this chapter. (See Chapter 4 for a discussion of normative monolingualism in Germany.)


Language ideology is defi ned by Errington (2000) as ideas about language structure and use relative to social contexts. Much work on language ideologies is done within a critical paradigm, and the current research fits with this perspective and focuses on hegemonic discourses and their consequences. In this chapter, I examine the infl uences of competing language ideologies on language use in an educational context and discuss potential problems as well as implications for educational practices.