Language Learning Policy Through the Lens of Language as a Problem, a Right, and a Resource

Carla A. McNelly


Richard Ruíz first developed the framework of language as a problem, as a right, and as a resource as a way of engaging how we examine language learning policies. This lens remains a useful tool in examining our national language learning policies. This article incorporates the academic work of additional scholars to define the United States’ practices, policies, and outcomes of language as a problem, as a right, and as a resource. Through the use of this framework, we realize that our nation’s bilingual education programs are generating monolingual and limited bilingual students. Equipped with an understanding that our nation is not approaching language as a resource, we must consider looking globally for examples that support generating bilingual and bicultural students.


Language policy; Bilingual education; Multilingual education

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The NABE Journal of Research and Practice is a publication of the National Association for Bilingual Education in association with the Northern Arizona University College of Education.  For more information, visit About the journal.

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