Language Teachers as Partners in Crafting Educational Language Policies?


  • Elana Shohamy Tel Aviv University


educational language policies, language policies, policy mechanisms


The paper presents an expanded view of language policy which incorporates a variety of policy mechanisms which are claimed to affect de facto language policies. These mechanisms include declared policies, language education documents, language tests and language in public space, among others. These policies are initiated and determined by ''policy bodies'' which are part of governments and other groups in authority, but are detached from those who are execute them. The main objective of this paper is to portray the expanded view of language policy, along these mechanisms, and to argue for the involvement and active participation of teachers in this process. I will argue that the participation, discussions and negotiations constitute a civic and democratic obligation on route to valid, open, fair, realistic policies. Negotiations with the different stake holders who come the process with experience and knowledge is essential for developing language policies which are valid, constructive, critically based and are based on theory of practice.

Received: 24-02-09 / Accepted: 31-03-09

How to reference this article:

Shohamy, E. (2009). Language Teachers as Partners in Crafting Educational Language Policies? Íkala. 14(2), pp.45-67.


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Author Biography

Elana Shohamy, Tel Aviv University

Dr. Elana Shohamy is a professor of language education at the School of Education, Tel Aviv University where she researches various topics related to language policy and language assessment in the context of conflicts and co-existence in multilingual societies, focusing on critical language policy, language rights, language equality and linguistic landscape. Among her more recent publications are: The power of tests: On the misues of language tests, 2001, Longman; Language policy: Hidden agendas and new approaches, 2006, Routledge; Volume 7 of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education: Language Testing and Assessment (ed. with Nancy Hornberter, Springer, 2008); Linguistic landscape: expanding the scenery, (ed. with Durk Gurter, 2009, Routledge). She is the current editor of the journal Language Policy.




How to Cite

Shohamy, E. (2009). Language Teachers as Partners in Crafting Educational Language Policies?. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 14(2), 45–67. Retrieved from