Using a discourse analytic framework that draws on theories of language ideologies, this paper analyzes the semiotics of a heritage language as it moves from the context of parochial education to the realm of public schooling. Specifically, it examines how Hebrew undergoes resemioticization when a Hebrew language charter school in the District of Columbia is established. I examine what Hebrew signifies through an analysis of two public texts: the Sela Public Charter School application and a community online forum. I identify how this new educational initiative redefines Hebrew teaching as a novel form of bilingual education that eschews discourses of identity, rights, and heritage. Next I show that the online forum participants attach diverse and contradictory meanings to Hebrew. This analysis examines the semiotic processes at work when a heritage language is untethered from its traditional communal context and transformed into a public language, and the ways in which bilingualism and bilingual education are reframed and contested in the process.
Program Design and Implementation
Heritage and Indigenous Language Programs
Administration and Leadership