‘This is England, speak English!’:A corpus-assisted critical study of language ideologies in the right-leaning British press

Wright, David and Brookes, Gavin (2019) ‘This is England, speak English!’:A corpus-assisted critical study of language ideologies in the right-leaning British press. Critical Discourse Studies, 16 (1). pp. 56-83. ISSN 1740-5904

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Abstract

This article examines right-leaning press representations of people living in the UK who can’t speak English, or at least speak English well, following the 2011 Census, which was the first to ask respondents about their main language and proficiency in English. The analysis takes a corpus-assisted approach to critical discourse analysis, based on a 1.8 million-word corpus of right-leaning newspaper articles about ‘speak(ing) English’ in the years following this historic Census (2011 to 2016). The analysis reveals the tendency for the press to focus on immigrants – particularly in the contexts of education and health – who are represented with recourse to a series of argumentation strategies, or ‘topoi’. Over the course of this paper, we argue that these topoi are problematic, as they present paradoxes, obscure the role of the Government in ensuring integration, overlook the difficulties of language learning and cultural assimilation, and generally contribute to a broader anti-immigrant UK media narrative which serves to legitimise exclusionary and discriminatory practices against people from minority linguistic and ethnic backgrounds.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Critical Discourse Studies
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Critical Discourse Studies on 18/08/2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17405904.2018.1511439
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300
Subjects:
ID Code:
126380
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
12 Jul 2018 10:06
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2020 04:55