A Tribute to Richard Ruiz Empirical Applications of Ruiz’s Language Orientations: From Theory to Practice

Kathy Escamilla


In the essay below, I illustrate how the research and writings of Richard Ruiz have influenced my research across three decades. I demonstrate how the totality of Ruiz’s orientations toward language planning have been taken up as good theory and then empirically applied and tested beyond the point of theoretical supposition. Throughout this work I argue that while the development of empirical evidence to support Ruiz’s language-a-resource orientation is paramount, one cannot engage in this work without simultaneously understanding and examining the pervasive language-as-problem orientation as well as the wildly unpopular but critically necessary language-as-right orientation. In sum, knowledge of the totality of the language orientations framework remains as relevant in 2015 as they were when they were first discussed in 1984.

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