Transnationalism and Inequalities in Texts

Authors: Grace Saqueton (University of the Philippines-Diliman) 
Speaker: Grace Saqueton
Topic: Discourse Analysis
Session Type: General Session


For this presentation, we observe the socializations of individuals into higher education through their exposure to academic systems. The individuals in higher education were asked to engage in discussion on transnationalism in education, as well as neoliberal policies on internationalization and globalization. Through a lens of transnationalism, I interrogate the junctures between academic systems, contemporary higher education. I argue that there are layers of inequalities that affect the creation of the educational system, namely: symbolic, linguistic, and material inequalities. For instance, the language and mechanics component of the education system highly values the use of the academic genre in specific contexts and of specific lineages. Other macro components such as content and organization are also predicated on Western standards. While this could be expected in the context of a neo-colonial Philippines, this is also problematic in the context of a multilingual Philippines. The Western standards are remote to and may be removed from the context of some Filipino students, which may lead to a disjunction in their academic progress. I will also use the paradigm of Unequal Englishes to problematize the role that Philippine English (PhE) plays in academic development. Through the lens of unequal Englishes and in relation to transnationalism, I will attempt to make sense of the conflicting conversations that surround the inequalities mentioned and to make explicit the gaps between academic systems and the reality of English in the Philippines, and the language reality of the students, by extension. I hope to contribute to the ongoing discussion on academic socialization and standardization, power relations and language ideologies, and conversations on multilingualism and transnationalism.

Keywords: rubric, English language assessment, language ideology, transnationalism, Unequal Englishes, multilingualism