I am a linguistic anthropologist of education and Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Swarthmore College. My research interests include bi- and multilingual education, Indigenous language revitalization, and language shift. I conduct interdisciplinary research at the intersection of linguistic and cultural anthropology; applied linguistics; educational anthropology; sociolinguistics.
I have taught courses in education, anthropology, and linguistics at the undergraduate and graduate level at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Swarthmore College.
Schooling Languages: Language Policy, Indigeneity and Citizenship in Eastern Nepal
My primary research project investigates changing meanings of schooling and language use in the highly diverse plains of eastern Nepal. Based on over a year of ethnographic research, this project asks a deceptively simple question: What happens when a language is allowed into school for the first time?
Across widely varying scales of time and space, I investigate the implementation of a constitutional promise: that all communities in Nepal have a right to basic education in their mother tongue. This raises myriad questions, such as who is in charge of implementing such a reform, what form of a language will be taught in classrooms, and whose desires this fulfills.
While grounded in the specific case of the Dhimal language in Nepal, this project addresses fundamental questions of educational and linguistic research, around the aims of schooling and the social meanings that language variation takes on.
Lenape language in Pennsylvania
This project, conducted collaboratively with Dr. Haley De Korne, investigated language revitalization practices of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, especially in a college-level course. Our research focused on the educational space created when non-Indigenous students studied an Indigenous language, and the ways that these students navigated the challenges of engaging appropriately with a potentially fraught linguistic code.
Peer Reviewed Articles
Under review Scale, power and agency in arbitrating school-level language planning decisions.
Under review Haley De Korne & Miranda Weinberg. 'I learned that my name is spelled wrong': Lessons from Mexico and Nepal on teaching literacy for Indigenous language reclamation.
2017 Miranda Weinberg. Taking Down Barcelona in Kathmandu: Linguistic Futures in a Student Movement. Signs and Society 5(1), 69-95.
2016 Nancy H. Hornberger, Haley De Korne & Miranda Weinberg. Ways of talking (and acting) about language reclamation: An ethnographic perspective on learning Lenape in Pennsylvania. Journal of Language, Identity and Education 15(1), 44-58.
2015 Miranda Weinberg. Putting the fourth crow in the sky: Using narrative to understand the experiences of one non-heritage learner of an endangered language. Linguistics & Education 30,
2015 Miranda Weinberg & Haley De Korne. Who can speak Lenape in Pennsylvania? Authentication and language learning in an endangered language community of practice. Language & Communication 47, 10.1016/j.langcom.2015.04.003
2012 Miranda Weinberg. Revisiting history in language policy: The case of medium of instruction in Nepal. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics 28(1): 61-80.
Forthcoming Miranda Weinberg. School-level language policy: Three cases from southeast Nepal. In Lava Deo Awasthi and Yogendra Yadava (Eds.), Mother-Tongue Based Multilingual Education in Nepal. Kathmandu, Nepal: Nepal Academy.
2010 Miranda Weinberg. What, Why and How MLE in Nepal: Experience from the Field. In Pushker Kadel (Ed.), Nēpālmā Bahubhāṣik Ṡikṣā (Multilingual Education in Nepal). Kathmandu: LDC.
2007 Miranda Weinberg. Notes on the world’s scales. In Wade Davis, K. David Harrison & Catherine Herbert Howell (Eds.), Book of peoples of the world: A guide to cultures. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Books.
2016 Miranda Weinberg. Conference report: Annual Kathmandu conference on Nepal and the Himalaya. Himalaya 35(2), 162.
2013 Haley De Korne & Miranda Weinberg. Lenape Education Program of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College. Center for Applied Linguistics Heritage Voices Series. Online at http://www.cal.org/heritage/pdfs/heritage-voice-program-lenape-language-education-program.pdf
2016 Review of The Promise of Integrated Multicultural and Bilingual Education, Zvi Bekerman, Anthropology & Education Quarterly.
2013 Review of Native American Language Ideologies, Paul V. Kroskrity & Margaret C. Field (Eds.), Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 44(1): 108-109
2012 Review of The Word and the World: The Cultural Politics of Literacy in Brazil, Lesley Bartlett, Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 43(2): 228-229
Sociolinguistics: Language, Culture, and Society
Introduction to Language and Linguistics
Senior Thesis Seminar
Senior Honors Thesis
University of Pennsylvania
Sociolinguistics in Education
Communication & Culture
Second Language Development
Kids in Crisis: When Schools Don't Work