Current Issues in Language Planning

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 1466-4208
Publications
Article
fter providing a brief general framework for language policy and planning, this article examines the case of language policy and planning in Australia with a particular focus on how one of the elements in that framework, prestige planning, might contribute to successful planning implementation, thereby adding to our more general understanding of how language planning operates. It is argued that language-in-education planning in Australia, which has been the major vehicle for improvements in language teaching and learning over the last 25 years, has contributed to both the prestige and the spread of additional language teaching in the country. Thus, while it may not be generally recognised, without the receptive goals emphasised by prestige planning, language planning's productive goals would be much less likely to be achieved.
 
Article
The aim of this small-scale research was to gain some understanding of Bangladeshi English language teachers' language preference for publication purposes & the extent of the use of Bangla (Bengali), the L1, in their professional practice. Qualitative data for the study were gathered by means of a self-produced questionnaire. Results show that about three-quarters of the teachers published or would publish entirely in English because they believed that it was, among other reasons, the usual professional practice. More importantly, a number of teachers stated that they felt more comfortable writing academic essays in English. Regarding the use of L1, all 37 respondents pointed out that they used it sparingly in the classroom, & only a small number considered it a barrier in learning English, the L2. While emphasising the study's limitations, the paper suggests that English teachers' lack of confidence in L1 academic writing may be seen as indicating the potential direction of a slowly emerging individual bilingualism among university teachers of English. However, the paper also argues that the emergence of this potential bilingualism can be seen only at the individual rather than societal level, &, within the academic context, only in the limited domain of academic writing. Figures, References. Adapted from the source document
 
Article
As Chinese characters (hanzi) have three aspects – as a technical writing system, an aesthetic visual art (Chinese calligraphy), and a highly-charged cultural symbolic system – changing them is a complex process. In the 1950s when language planning campaigns were launched to modernise Chinese through hanzi standardisation, names were set aside as too difficult to reform. But over the last two decades the increasingly acute need for effective modern communication based on a stable standard written system has increased the pressure for name reform. This paper discusses the standardisation of personal and geographical name-related hanzi, detailing the socio-cultural and political factors that make the job of language reform much more difficult than it once was for language planning practitioners. The central theme is the conflict between standardisation and diversity, i.e. technological convenience for personal names and modernisation for geographic names vs compatibility with the traditional heritage. In this new historical context, the focus has changed from top-down technical solutions to multiple standards and bottom-up prestige and image planning as ways of addressing hanzi naming dilemmas.
 
Map of Malaysia (Source: http://www.umsl.edu/services/govdocs/wofact97/565.gif). 
Article
This paper shows that language planning in government-controlled domains has a spill-over effect in domains where language use is not regulated by language policies. Language planning in post-colonial Malaysia can be broadly divided into three phases: status planning whereby English was replaced by Bahasa Malaysia as the official language; remission in status planning whereby English was allowed restricted status as medium of instruction for science and mathematics; and reinforced status planning for Bahasa Malaysia as a tool for unity. By ensuring that Malaysians are proficient in Bahasa Malaysia, the government has engendered the voluntary use of Bahasa Malaysia and its varieties for interethnic communication in the friendship and transaction domains. There is a gradation in language use from the lower to the upper end of the transaction domain for interethnic communication as follows: Bazaar Malay in the market, Sarawak Malay in shops, and Bahasa Malaysia in hotels. The role of English as a language for interethnic communication is gradually being supplanted by Bahasa Malaysia, leaving English to function in domains such as law, private sector and higher education. The prominence of these two languages in the national and international arena respectively reduces the priority given to ethnic languages in friendship and transactional domains.
 
Article
Language planning is normally thought of in terms of large-scale, usually national planning, often undertaken by governments and meant to influence, if not change, ways of speaking or literacy practices within a society. It normally encompasses four aspects: status planning (about society), corpus planning (about language), language-in-education (or acquisition) planning (about learning), and (most recently) prestige planning (about image). When thinking about these aspects, both policy (i.e. form) and planning (i.e. function) components need to be considered as well as whether such policy and planning will be overt or covert in terms of the way it is put into action. Language policy and planning on this scale has dominated current work in the field. However, over the past decade language planning has taken on a more critical edge and its ecological context has been given greater emphasis, leading to an increasing acceptance that language planning can (and does) occur at different levels, i.e. the macro, meso and micro. This shift in focus has also led to a rethinking of agency – who has the power to influence change in these micro language policy and planning situations. Given this break with the dominant macro history, the question may be asked, is this developing notion of micro language planning and local agency actually language planning? If so, what are its parameters? Micro language planning studies are examined to illustrate trends in the literature.
 
Article
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, the theory that language influences thought to the extent that people who speak different languages perceive the world differently, is discussed in the context of current calls to maintain and promote global linguistic diversity. Cross-cultural psychological research is examined to assess the extent to which the hypothesis can be shown to be true. In the 1970s, research on colour perception appeared to provide evidence against the hypothesis. More recent studies have shown that there are in fact significant and reliable differences across languages in how colour is perceived, classified, and remembered. Research at higher levels of language is also assessed. Language appears to exert considerable influence over how people categorise, evaluate, and remember the world, especially in languages where nouns belong to different semantic categories. Particular ways of thinking may also be more difficult in some languages than others. This may only mean that it is more cognitively taxing to arrive at the same notion or it can mean that an idea is highly unlikely to be expressed in a particular language. These differences may even transcend languages and cultures. It is concluded that, given the available evidence, it is vital to allow alternative perspectives of the world to be available by maintaining and promoting global linguistic diversity.
 
Article
Kuot is a language in a critical situation. Most adults of lower middle age and older are full speakers but children are not learning it. In other words, it will become extinct in a few decades if nothing is done; but it is not too late if the community decides to turn it around, and do so fast. Thus far, the community has shown little interest. Into this situation, vernacular elementary education was introduced. While the community expects this to work for language survival, the aim of the education policy is the eventual transfer of literacy skills to English. This paper describes the tensions between these conflicting goals, and the various components that make up the specific situation of Kuot, including vernacular literacy, orthographic considerations arising from the language's precarious situation, and the eventual extension of the internet era to Melanesia.
 
Article
This paper examines the English language situation at primary school level in Vietnam from a language planning perspective. It examines language policy for foreign language teaching in Vietnam to provide a picture of the role of English in foreign language education. It analyses language-in-education policy, curriculum and teachingmaterials,and teaching conditions and discusses the future of ELT in primary schools in Vietnam
 
Article
This paper explores a major curriculum innovation in English language teaching in Turkish primary education from macro and micro perspectives. After an overview of the role of English in Turkey, macro-level planning underlying the introduction of English language teaching policy in state-owned primary education is presented. Then the diffusion of innovation through the government's provision of teacher opportunities is laid out. This is followed by micro-level implementation of language policy, focusing on a case study conducted in a local context. Based on survey findings, suggestions are proposed for the future direction of Turkish primary-level English language teaching. (Contains 1 note.)
 
Article
This monograph discusses the language situation in Japan, with an emphasis on language planning and policy. Japan has long considered itself to be a monoethnic and therefore monolingual society, despite the existence of substantial old-comer ethnic minorities, and this - with the instrumental exception of English - has been reflected in its language planning and policy until quite recently. Increasing immigration (and hence emergent new-comer multilingualism), technological advances affecting the way people write and a perceived need to improve the teaching of English, however, mean that policies have begun to undergo a rethink. This monogoph is divided into three main sections. Under the language profile of Japan I discuss in detail the national language and minority languages; the next section discusses language spread and maintenance through the education system and other means, and I conclude with some thoughts on how language planning and policy might develop in the future. My aim is to give readers a sense of how major language issues in Japan are evolving in such a manner that many of the policies developed during the 20th century may no longer be totally relevant.
 
Article
While advocacy of minority language rights (MLR) has become well established in sociolinguistics, language policy and planning and the wider human rights literature, it has also come under increased criticism in recent times for a number of key limitations. In this paper, I address directly three current key criticisms of the MLR movement. The first is a perceived tendency towards essentialism in articulations of language rights. The second is the apparent utopianism and artificiality of 'reversing language shift' in the face of wider social and political 'realities'. And the third is that the individual mobility of minority-language speakers is far better served by shifting to a majority language. While acknowledging the perspicacity of some of these arguments, I aim to rearticulate a defence of minority language rights that effectively addresses these key concerns. This requires, however, a sociohistorical/sociopolitical rather than a biological/ecological analysis of MLR. In addition, I will argue that a sociohistorical/sociopolitical defence of MLR can problematise the positions often adopted by minority language rights' critics themselves, particularly those who defend majoritarian forms of linguistic essentialism and those who sever the instrumental/identity aspects of language. Implications for language policy and planning will also be discussed. The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the journal, Current Issues in Language Planning, published by Multilingual Matters. (c) S. May 2003.
 
Article
The discussion of African languages as languages of learning and teaching can be traced back to the 1980s. To date, this discussion still continues and efforts to intellectualise African languages have been lax. Here, we present practical South African examples of higher education achievements in African languages that demonstrate the challenges and opportunities of African language planning and corpus development. We particularly focus on the development of a peer-reviewed bilingual (IsiZulu and English) book on the frogs of Zululand, South Africa. The publication under consideration falls within the life sciences, and it is the first comprehensive book on South African frogs to be written in an African language. Developing life sciences reading material in vernacular is a time-consuming process that requires a multidisciplinary team which understands both life and social sciences. Furthermore, when vocabulary relating to a focal species is undocumented, field research is necessary to identify the nuances of a specific language or culture. This language planning effort under discussion demonstrates the IsiZulu language’s ability to communicate life sciences and how language planning efforts can be made integrative and inclusive of previously marginalised languages.
 
Article
Ever since the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China on 1 July 1997, policy makers in Hong Kong have instituted a series of de-colonising language policies, notably Mother Tongue Education (Education Department, 1997 Education Department. (1997). Medium of instruction guidance for secondary schools. Retrieved from https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr97-98/english/panels/ed/papers/ed1508-6.htm [Google Scholar]. Medium of instruction guidance for secondary schools. Retrieved from https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr97-98/english/panels/ed/papers/ed1508-6.htm.) which emphasises the importance of the Chinese language in rebranding the city as a cosmopolitan bilingual city in Asia. One unintended consequence is that linguistically and culturally diverse pupils in the system are struggling to learning Chinese as an additional language (CAL). Against the backdrop of existing CAL policies which promote decentralisation and school-based curricula, this exploratory paper aims at examining the extent to which the language planning context has facilitated and constrained CAL teachers’ agency in Hong Kong secondary schools. Based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 10 CAL teachers purposively recruited from three local secondary schools, this study finds that certain features of the language planning contexts have constrained and transformed teacher agency in ways that lead to what Cummins’s (2000. Language, Power and Pedagogy: Bilingual Children in the Crossfire. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.) refers to as ‘the narrowing of the curriculum brought about by teaching to the test’ (p.248). The resultant emphasis on the short-term CAL goals, as manifested by this maximum-variation sample of teachers, is discussed with attention to how teacher agency is ecologically achieved and claimed, and a call for restructuring existing CAL policies to attend more to the mediating impact of the ecology on teacher agency, and to purposively channel teachers’ agentive action towards the long-term goal of mainstreaming. In doing so, CAL teachers can truly be ecologically set up as agentive language planners in the face of increasing linguistic and cultural diversity in the classrooms.
 
Article
Timor-Leste offers a rich case study of the array of discursive influences on medium-of-instruction (MOI) policy in multilingual, post-colonial developing contexts. MOI policy in this young nation is a site of tension between struggles to define national identity in the shadow of colonial language ideologies and the globalised discourses of powerful international development aid partners. Guided by the notion of opening up ideological and implementational space for non-dominant languages in education, this article reviews the evolution of MOI policy in East Timorese primary education over the decade since independence. Paying particular attention to recent proposals for mother tongue-based multilingual education, the review highlights the ideological nature of the relationship between language planning and the MOI. The East Timorese case shows how MOI policy emerges from historical and socio-political experiences and is shaped by complex interactions between external and internal forces.
 
Article
This paper seeks to situate Estonian language use and policy within the emerging field of critical language policy and planning (CLPP) by investigating the discourses that frame linguistic behaviour. This done by way of an analysis of a series of interviews carried out with key actors in language policy in Estonia. The discourses framing language use in Estonia are then related to the practices, or repeated activities, that maintain everyday language use. The aim is to uncover taken-for-granted categories framing social life, in particular those that maintain forms of inequality, and to investigate ways that these might be reshaped in order to bring about outcomes that take into account the everyday needs and realities of a greater proportion of Estonian society. The 2011 Estonian high school reform is a case in point regarding the importance of macro–micro dialogue and coordination in language policy and planning. As this paper argues, more is needed to engage local Russian-speakers in the process of learning and using Estonian and playing a bigger part in wider Estonian society, particularly in the case of the north-eastern county of Ida-Virumaa. This paper considers the ways discourses and practices in education could become more inclusive of Estonia's Russian-speakers while still furthering the key twin goals of the period of renewed independence: normalisation of the use of Estonian and societal integration.
 
Article
This paper concerns itself with how policy is made in democratic nations in order to secure equal language rights. The case study assessed is Aotearoa New Zealand’s 2016 Māori Language Act and the process by which it passed into legislation. The paper draws on theories of public policy change, specifically the evidence-based policy approach, and examines the role of the language expert in light of Roger Pielke’s [(2007). The honest broker: Making sense of science in policy and politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511818110] archetypes, in particular, the issue advocate and the honest broker. Two independent review groups’ reports are analysed to understand whether their recommendations were acted upon. The analysis finds that there were similarities and differences in Te Paepae Motuhake and the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendations, in particular. whether language planning should be top-down or bottom-up. The paper concludes that the different expert roles and ideologies of the two review groups were both important in developing Aotearoa New Zealand’s innovative dual-strategy Māori language policy. Such findings show that understanding how policy is made in democracies is important if language experts wish to turn argument and evidence into action to advance minority and particularly indigenous languages.
 
Article
The diversity of language in Australia in pre-invasion times is well attested, with at least 300 distinct languages being spoken along with many dialects. At that time, many Indigenous people were multilingual, often speaking at least four languages. Today many of these languages have been lost, with fewer than 15 being learned by children as a first language. However, despite this, much diversity remains. This diversity includes the remaining traditional Indigenous languages (TILs) spoken in more remote areas, largely in the north of Australia, as well as the new varieties that have developed since the invasion, and the dialects of Aboriginal English spoken across Australia. In remote communities where TILs are spoken, individuals and in some cases communities often maintain a high level of multilingualism. However, diaspora populations of TIL speakers are emerging in cities such as Darwin, Katherine, Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie. In some communities, new varieties are emerging as speakers change the way they talk. These include ‘new’ mixed languages such as Light Warlpiri or Gurindji Kriol, as well as a wide variety of creoles, including, for example, Roper River Kriol, Fitzroy Valley Kriol and Yumplatok in the Torres Strait) and the various dialects of Aboriginal English spoken across the country. In this article, we explore this language diversity, examining its historical underpinnings and development, its implications for education and engagement in the wider community, and how Aboriginal people are using the new varieties to forge group identities.
 
Article
Economic factors that language policy makers must take into account include a recent trend toward financial globalisation. I first argue that, just as an earlier process of global integration ended in retreat, the current integrative process is not inexorable. Were it to intensify, however, it is likely that low-income countries will become more closely involved in the process. I then argue that current demographic trends point to further growth in US economic power and military projection. Whether regarded as welcome or disquieting, these trends cannot be ignored by policy makers, and implications for language spread and language ecology are discussed.
 
Article
The current Language Policy and Planning (LPP) literature does not differentiate between LPP as practical planning and LPP as a research area. This lack of a conceptual distinction has led to difficulties in explaining the contradiction of the lethargic status of LPP-research and the vigorous reality of LPP-practice. This paper concentrates on LPP-research and proposes that this seemingly self-dependent activity is also subject to management. The past decade has witnessed an upsurge of government encouraged LPP-research in China. The case of China demonstrates how government management can affect research through the institutionalisation of academia, specifically by establishing research centres, providing funds, creating publishing platforms, and training young researchers. A series of papers initiated by the Chinese government prove that LPP-research management can influence not only research activities but also LPP-practice and language practice by converting the ideology of the LPP practitioners and the general public. However, the government can only best exert its influence when all three factors are present; namely, social needs, financial support, and cooperative academia. Our discussion of LPP-research management in China could also be applicable to other parts of the world, especially where academia (or part of it) works closely with the government.
 
Article
This paper reports on a study that examined the extent to which the development of academic literacy in isiZulu, an indigenous language spoken across all the nine provinces in South Africa, enhances opportunities for epistemological access. The focus is in relation to a pilot study of a Bachelor of Education Honours module that uses isiZulu as the Language of Learning and Teaching. New Literacy Studies is used to examine the extent to which an understanding of the nature of literacy as no longer so much on the acquisition of language skills, but as social practice, can develop academic literacy in isiZulu and enhance episte­mological access. The paper confronts the questions about whose literacy counts?, and why, and engages in ‘a discursive politics of knowledge production, asking what counts as knowledge, who is allowed to author it, whose interests does it serve, how and by whom is it contested?’ (Baynham, M., & Prinsloo, M. [2001]. New directions in literacy research. Language and Education, 15, pp. 84–85). Case Study as a research design, Narrative Style interview technique and documentary evidence as research instruments, were used as a useful means to collect, conceptualise and organise data. Findings suggest that meaningful and successful engagement with the development of isiZulu, so that it becomes part of the academy, will depend entirely on implementing strategies to develop its academic discourse, the secondary discourse after the primary discourse of the home.
 
Article
The article analyses the use of GFL in a corpus of 187 academic texts created by pre-service teachers. It reveals how participants reached a balance between the recommendations of GFL guides and the standard normative grammar included in the school curriculum. The study shows that although future teachers are aware of GFL and sensitive to discrimination, they used a combination of the generic masculine with GFL recommendations when deemed necessary. This has great pedagogical potential for the Spanish classroom, together with the potential to transform language and society.
 
Article
This qualitative study offers critical insight into how language policy interacts with daily classroom decisions at a large and highly diverse urban community college in the United States. Specifically, it examines the challenges that faculty teaching developmental writing courses for English language learners experience when determining what constitutes academic literacy and what language dimensions should be taught when their students’ success is solely based on the results of a summative, high-stakes assessment of expository writing. To identify these challenges and analyze how teachers negotiate their curricular decisions and classroom practices, this study includes interviews with ten writing instructors regarding reading choices, writing assignments, syllabus construction, and pedagogical methodologies in order to ascertain descriptive theories of academic literacy knowledge. This study of micro-language planning demonstrates that how university writing instructors define academic literacy and translate this construct into classroom policies and practices does not always align with university language policy, and offers a broader understanding of the complexity of English academic literacy within American community colleges.
 
Article
The literature on English-medium instruction (EMI) has predominantly focused on contexts where English is not the first language. Little is known about EMI in traditional English-speaking (Anglophone) contexts like Australia, where English is the first language. The highly internationalised Australian higher education has witnessed a growing cohort of foreign-born students and academics, many from non-native English-speaking backgrounds (NESB). Whilst the issue of EMI for NESB students has received increased attention, the EMI-related challenges facing NESB academics have been overlooked. This paper explores communicative and pedagogical challenges and associated strategies of NESB academics as they revealed untold stories about their teaching experiences in this EMI context. It adopts a Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theoretical perspective in conceptualising English as a tool academics appropriate to mediate their teaching. A modified EMI competence framework further elaborates the use of English as a pedagogical and communicative tool. Data were generated through individual interviews and survey questionnaire with NESB academics at an Australian university. Findings revealed multiple challenges facing the academics and strategies they applied to adapt English, as a mediational tool, to effectively mediate their teaching. The study has implications for EMI research in Anglophone contexts and professional development and institutional support for NESB academics.
 
Article
Prof. Baldauf was one of the first who saw the planning agency as a central issue in examining the effectiveness of language planning (LP) endeavors (e.g. Baldauf, R. B. Jr. (1982). The language situation in American Samoa: Planners, plans and planning. Language Planning Newsletter, 1(8), 1–6). This paper chooses the language academy (LA) as a representation of language agency and examines its role in Chinese LP in modern history. China does not have an LA in the sense the term is used elsewhere in the world as Kaplan and Baldauf [(1997). Language planning from practice to theory. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters] describe. However, a constellation of official or semi-official LP organizations of various LA formats related to Chinese LP has existed through a century of the Chinese language modernization movement. This paper evaluates the efforts of these organizations with a focus on the interaction between the LP activities, the LP agency and socio-political conditions. We argue that the socio-political landscape as an enabler for LP in China has seen phenomenal changes as a result of the economic development and technological advancement in recent decades; the societal behavior of the people as the targeted recipients of LP goods has been increasingly governed by a postmodernist mentality. In this context, this paper concludes that a national LA would enhance the effectiveness of future LP ventures in the Chinese context.
 
Article
This paper explores the agentive role of school leaders in interpreting and implementing macro language education policies at preschool level in the Maldives. The Preschool Management Act of 2012 initiated a change in the medium of instruction from English to Dhivehi, recognising the importance of developing children’s literacy skills in the national language. This was closely followed by the implementation of a new National Curriculum that reinforced this need to prioritise strengthening children’s first language. Based on observational and interview data from two preschools, this paper investigates how school leaders’ ideologies about language, language education, and decision-making processes affected how these policies were interpreted and implemented at the micro-level of the school. The implementation process was dependent on whether school leaders opted to accept the policies and take on a proactive role in language planning at the school level; or chose to resist the policies and distance themselves from external pressures. Findings from these case studies reveal the critical role that school leaders play in either supporting or opposing pathways towards additive bilingual language acquisition. This paper contributes to the field of language policy by providing a portrait of how macro-level policies are enacted at the micro-level of the school.
 
Article
Test accommodations are changes to test administration, responses, or the test itself that are offered to emergent bilingual students for standardized tests and also for classroom assessments in some states in the USA. Currently there is a lack of research examining the use of test accommodations as a pedagogical practice. This paper presents a study of the classroom use of accommodations using data from a comparative ethnographic case study of two different multilingual schools. A historical analysis and definitions of test accommodation effectiveness frame the analysis. Participant observation, field notes, interviews, and classroom artifacts are used to investigate how administrators, teachers, and students appropriate test accommodations as classroom practices and one class in particular serves as an entry point for unpacking classroom use of accommodations. The analysis positions test accommodations as a tool promoting increased access to assessments but cautions that this access may not be an equitable practice, especially when accommodation use conflates emergent bilingual students with students who have disabilities. The paper concludes by exploring the possible implications of using classroom practices to inform policies and the use of test accommodations for emergent bilinguals to explore more options for multilingual education and assessment.
 
Linguistic zoning regime
Documents included in the analysis
Categories and subcategories underlying the data
Article
The management of bilingualism in the Spanish autonomous community of Navarre is a source of tension. The implementation of English medium of instruction in the public educational system has clashed with attempts to break with the linguistic territoriality regime by promoting Basque schooling. This paper brings together ideologies on English and minority languages and explores how political practice is intertwined with language policy and planning and language ideology. More specifically, it examines the institutionalization of language ideologies through language policy-making in education and, particularly, through medium of instruction. The paper begins with a description of the bilingual regime in Navarre and an examination of how ideologies have shaped and legitimized language policy in education. It then moves on to an analysis of both Basque and English medium of instruction ideologies that inform policy-making. This paper shows that the dynamics introduced by multilingualism in education have had a reinforcing effect on previous language ideologies on bilingualism and, ultimately, have aggravated the language dispute. Finally, it discusses how medium of instruction serves as a terrain for language competition and as part of a broader struggle for language policy and institutional power.
 
Article
Language policy is generally seen as a national-level decision regarding which languages the state will support, and in which public domains. However, the reality is that language policy plays out at regional and local levels as well. In fact, it could be argued that the most important instantiations of language policy are those which directly determine local-language behaviors in institutions such as schools, government and civil society. Using data drawn from Kenya, this article examines the formulation and implementation of language policy as it plays out in the primary classroom environment. The relationships between language policy implementation at the classroom level and students' early literacy outcomes are explored, giving insight into how the degree of adherence to language policy in the classroom intersects with student achievement. The article presents findings using language use as a predictor, school and student-level economic status as control variables and student achievement as the outcomes. The country-level differences in language policy implementation between Kenya and Uganda, and the impact of those differences on student achievement in the two countries, are also examined. The article has implications for the establishment of a learning environment in the multi-language primary classroom, and demonstrates the extent to which choices about language policy implementation can present a serious challenge to effective education.
 
Article
The research reported in this paper explored the implementation of a language-in-education policy in post-Soviet Kazakhstan, also known as trilingual education reform. Drawing on interviews with teachers and school administrators, the paper comparatively examines how the teaching of Sciences through the medium of English was implemented across two different educational contexts in one country. The analysis shows that different processes were undertaken to involve teachers in the reform and get them to implement change. The network of elite Intellectual Schools approached language planning by exerting positive pressure, offering ongoing capacity building, emphasising core pedagogy, and providing opportunities for ‘learning in context,’ whereas the policy in the context mainstream schools was characterised by excessive speed, fragmented solutions and the failure to provide micro-level policy actors with sufficient tools to implement change. The paper argues that piloting results should be carefully considered before scaling up the reform to a larger context. Finally, the paper suggests core premises of educational change should inform language planning and policy decisions.
 
Article
Portuguese is the mother tongue for many Angolans yet a majority continue to use African languages in everyday interactions and schools struggle to provide equal educational opportunities for students whose first language is not Portuguese. Recognizing this challenge, the Angolan government has created a language policy that will introduce six African languages into the school system. For a country that has maintained a monolingual education system for over 32 years, the new policy is perhaps a milestone achievement. This study examines the historical and ideological processes that gave rise to new medium of instruction policies in Angola. Then, interview data collected from policymakers, educators, and students are examined to illuminate how these language policies are interpreted and appropriated in schools and communities. We argue that, while recent language policies create ideological spaces for multilingual education, the hegemonic status of Portuguese, and the growing influence of English, are formidable obstacles.
 
Article
This article gives a presentation of the Swedish Language act and its application and reception by the public. Ten years have passed since its introduction, and for this reason a study was conducted by the Swedish Language council about what kind of issues were brought to governmental and local authorities by the public. By the collection of e-mail from the public presenting questions or comments in connection to the law this study could show two main topics. A little less than half of the e-mails were concerned about two of the national minority languages in Sweden, Finnish and Meänkieli, mostly from an educational perspective. Another main group of e-mails were concerned with the situation for sign language. The remaining minority languages and others issues related to the Language Act were hardly mentioned at all. Conclusions to be drawn are that strong lobbying groups do invoke legislation that can be associated with their aims, and that there may be other parts of the legislation that better cover the rights that the e-mailers wish to defend or that the Language act is still unknown as to its content.
 
Data.
What does funktionshinder 'functional hindrance' refer to?
Article
Corpus planning has attracted attention ever since Deborah Cameron's seminal Verbal Hygiene (1995). However, evaluations of corpus planning aimed at addressing linguistic discrimination have been surprisingly scarce. Because corpus planning costs energy, time and money, evaluations are important for future actions. This study discusses how an evaluation of corpus planning can be conducted by performing a detailed, critical and empirical analysis of a limited Swedish language policy action aimed at addressing linguistic discrimination. The results show that, although the policy action was successful in terms of lexical change, the change was superficial, since the desired shift in focus, from individual/group to environment, occurred to only a very limited extent in the selected texts. From this analysis, I argue that there are three significant matters to attend to when evaluating corpus planning for these situations. The first is that a meaningful corpus should be created, preferably one comprising symmetrical texts from both before and after implementation of the policy. Additionally, the research questions that are formulated should be narrow enough to be operational. Finally, quantitative and qualitative methods should be combined to ensure a broad understanding of the outcomes of the corpus planning.
 
Article
Multilingual education (MLE) is increasingly recognized as a means to ensure equitable access to education for children with a nondominant first language and to retain endangered languages. UNESCO has championed MLE and identified 10 essential components in planning implementation of MLE implementation. This article examines these 10 components in Cambodia’s implementation of its first Multilingual National Action Plan (2014–2018), drawing on an independent in-country evaluation conducted by the authors in 2019. The findings suggest that UNESCO’s 10 essential components are a useful guide for planning MLE, but that three even more foundational components are missing from this formulation. Visible, collaborative national leadership is critical to assure stakeholders, especially teachers and parents, that MLE is authorized in government schools. Adequate financial and technical resources must be provided to subnational actors charged with ensuring quality education. The nondominant language speakers and advocates are at the root of MLE: without the language and proficient speakers, MLE is nearly impossible. These three elements – leadership, resources, and input from nondominant language speakers – are often missing in language planning and partnership development, and they account for many of the gaps in the implementation of MLE in Cambodia during its five-year term.
 
Article
Recent demand within the academy for language research that bridges different stakeholders renders the social relevance of research a factor in the academic competition for research funds [Curry, M. J., & Lillis, T. (2013). Introduction to the thematic issue: Participating in academic publishing - consequences of linguistic policies and practices. Language Policy, 12, 209-213]. This calls for new means and innovations for designing and carrying out knowledge mobilisation activities, with consequences concerning where, how and with whom this type of undertaking can or should be done. In this paper we, a team of (multilingual) researchers working within the fields of multilingualism, minority language studies and discourse studies, critically reflect on how we engage in knowledge mobilisation through the conceptualisation, development and management of the Jyväskylä Discourse Hub research initiative and its website (www.discoursehub.fi). Drawing on nexus analysis [Scollon, R., & Scollon, S. (2004). Nexus analysis: Discourse and the emerging internet. London: Routledge], a transdisciplinary discourse-ethnographic framework, we employ the three cycles of this nexus analytical framework (engaging, navigating and changing a nexus of practice) to explore the conditions and consequences of collaborative knowledge mobilisation, especially in terms of creating dialogue among different actors and as a way of enhancing social relevance of language research. We conclude by discussing the implications of this kind of partnership for language policy and planning activities in this era of new types of shifts, demands and openings.
 
Informants.
Article
This paper contributes to recent discussions of levels of agency in Language Policy and Planning (LPP) research. It specifically aims to understand the role and importance of meso-level actors as arbiters of policy implementation. It argues that, whilst understanding of both macro- and micro-agency has grown over the past decade, little is understood about the experience of meso-level agents. The paper seeks to address this by focussing on the LPP context in Vietnam; in particular, the implementation of the 2008 National Foreign Languages Project 2020. It explores the undertheorised and yet important socio-cultural context in which educational LPP takes place. Contrary to previous research which found that language policy arbiters can, in some cases, possess a disproportionate amount of power, this paper shows how Governments and institutions can act to limit rather than empower meso-level agents. The thematic analysis focuses on how meso-level agents perceive their role and the extent to which the setting in which they work impacts on their capacity to act. The paper argues that lack of information and support for meso-level agents participating in language policy implementation significantly constrains their ability to facilitate policy change.
 
Article
Drawing on the ethico-political framework of hospitality, this paper investigates the communicative practices of three administrative support staff as they attempt to manage the twin challenges of working in adherence to state and institutional language policies while communicating ethically in an internationalising workplace. Academic administrative staff rarely feature in studies on internationalisation yet are crucial to understanding the complex day-to-day realities of contemporary university life. Empirically, this study reports on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork, including observations, interviews, and email records. The data demonstrate language work being carried out on an ethical basis, before the consideration of any particular languages, beyond the participants’ political obligations, and in excess of institutional support. The current national and institutional responses to the multilingual realities of Swedish university life, I argue, are failing to do justice to and facilitate the ethically grounded, bottom-up language policy-making as practised by this study’s participants. This paper thus promises to open up debate on hospitality within language policy and planning for internationalising Higher Education, and, in its re-evaluation of the ethical and political dimensions of hospitality, it emphasises the framework’s critical potential within sociolinguistic research, more generally.
 
Top-cited authors
M. Obaidul Hamid
  • The University of Queensland
Hoa Thi Mai Nguyen
Jiří Nekvapil
  • Charles University, Prague; Faculty of Arts
Anthony J. Liddicoat
  • The University of Warwick
François Grin
  • University of Geneva