Resisting English medium instruction through digital grassroots activism

Selvi, Ali Fuad
Recently, we have been witnessing the emergence of digital grassroots activism in social networking sites (e.g. Facebook) - affording discursive tools and spaces to engage in normative approaches to preserve Turkish(ness) and raise ideological oppositions against English medium instruction (EMI). By linking Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough, N. 2013. Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language. London, UK: Routledge.) with the principles of visual semiotics (Kress, G., and T. van Leeuwen. 2006. Reading Images. London: Routledge.), the current study explores the discursive acts of language policing (Blommaert, J., H. Kelly-Holmes, P. Lane, S. Leppanen, M. Moriarty, S. Pietikainen, and A. Piirainen Marsh. 2009. "Media, Multilingualism and Language Policing: An Introduction." Language Policy 8 (3): 203-207.) manifested by means of textual descriptions and visual artefacts in four Facebook groups which have been established around the idea(l)s of maintaining the linguistic order and Turkish(ness). It is found that these groups maintain linguistic order as guardians of monoglot ideology, and by recontextualizing the EMI debate within the broader discourses of nationalism and national identity with the help of symbols (e.g. flags), strategies (e.g. quotes) and actors (e.g. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk) evident in the collective psyche of the Turkish nation. .