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Chomsky on Democracy and Education


reviewed by Robert Train — 2004

coverTitle: Chomsky on Democracy and Education
Author(s): Noam Chomsky and Carlos Otero (Editors)
Publisher: Routledge/Falmer, New York
ISBN: 0415926319, Pages: 496, Year: 2002
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Two men, virtual strangers, sitting and reading for almost two hours in an unheated gym in the dead of winter (albeit a California one) while their daughters practiced basketball on the same team.  In response to the pre-war manipulation of American opinion, one man was reading Manufacturing Consent, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s critique of the mass media.  The other man, an educational sociolinguist (for want of a better term of self identification), was reading Hayley Davis’ introduction to Redefining Linguistics (Davis and Taylor 1990), a well-reasoned dismantling of Chomsky’s view of language in linguistic theory.  Two random readers on the western fringe of North America, on the opposite side of the continent from Chomsky’s home base at M.I.T. in Cambridge were reading Chomsky’s words and weighing his ideas at exactly the same moment.  Would a third reader, had there been one present, have been toting a copy of Syntactic Structures (1957) , Chomsky’s seminal work of generative linguistics, or another one of Chomsky’s numerous writings or... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 2, 2004, p. 365-374
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11174, Date Accessed: 5/30/2017 5:18:24 AM

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About the Author
  • Robert Train
    Sonoma State University
    E-mail Author
    ROBERT TRAIN is an assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Sonoma State University where he is also Director of the Language and Culture Learning Center. In 2000, he completed his dissertation, entitled “Getting past the ideology of ‘the language’: the standardization of French and Spanish, and its implications for foreign-language pedagogy,” at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include ideologies of language and language teaching, critical language awareness, sociolinguistics, language policy and planning, heritage languages, bilingualism and multilingualism, and instructional technologies. His particular concern for incorporating sociocultural and sociolinguistic diversity into language education grew out of his 8 years as a teacher in a public high school in the San Francisco Bay Area where he taught Spanish and French to students from richly varied and largely bilingual backgrounds. His most recent publication, “Sociolinguistics and language as cultural practice," will appear in the Journal of Sociolinguistics in summer of 2003.
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