Examining Language Learning from a Critical Perspective

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Ruhma Choudhury


Critical theory, a perspective of sociocultural theory, is a useful tool for examining the role of context in shaping our understanding of language learning and teaching. In examining context, the critical perspective considers the sociopolitical nature of language practices since it maintains that one must study and critique the relationship between power and language in order to gain a more complete understanding of the practices and interactions in which learners engage (Pennycook, 1999; Phillipson, 1992; Zuengler & Miller, 2006). This understanding, critical theorists contend, will foster social and educational changes leading to more equitable educational practices.

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