• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Linguistics
  • Areas of interest Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

Language management is going on all the time—from the more obvious institutional attempts to legislate linguistic behaviour and mandate and proscribe language use to the more subtle choices individuals make about which language(s) or language varieties to use when and with whom. This course introduces students to the main issues involved in language planning and language policy and will explore the social and political consequences of institutional attempts to manage language. The course considers how language policy is deeply embedded in beliefs or ideologies people have about language, and examines the sources of these ideologies. It addresses the central question of who has the ability or the authority to make choices where language and its use is concerned, and whose will and whose choices will ultimately prevail. In a world where multilingualism and variation in language is the norm and monolingualism the exception, migration and technological advances have generated new challenges for language policy makers, causing new issues of language choice to emerge.

The core issues to be addressed in this course are: How and why national and official languages are chosen and what this means politically in a society; How language education policy can affect members of a society; How the spread of English as a world language has affected the linguistic ecology of societies around the globe, and how its spread is related to the proliferation of World Englishes; How societies treat indigenous languages; How minority language rights pose challenges for policy makers at the national and supranational level. Data from Australia as well as a variety of world contexts will be used to explore these core issues.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. identify who gets to make the decisions about which language to speak and which variety of language is good or bad, and who stands to benefit from these decisions;
  2. discuss the degree to which linguistic behaviour can be legislated and language use proscribed or mandated;
  3. assess whether national language policies can be said to be meaningful or successful;
  4. explain the complex attitudes people have to language, multilingualism and national identity;
  5. analyse and compare how language ideologies relate to language policies;
  6. collect and integrate materials for a case study of a given nation state;
  7. reflect on and articulate how your own views on language management have developed over the course of the semester.

Indicative Assessment

Participation in three Wattle discussions, 1500 words total (30%, LOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7),

Case study proposal and annotated bibliography, 1000 words (20%, LO 6),

Case study, 2500 words (40%, LOs 1, 2, 3, 5, 6),

Tutorial participation (10%, LOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


This course has 3 contact hours per week (lectures, tutorials and online discussions). It is expected that students will spend an additional 7 hours per week of independent study preparing assignments and doing further reading.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 12 units from DFaculty of Arts or the Faculty of Asian Studies. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed LING6022. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Spolsky, B.,2004 Language Policy, Cambridge University Press.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9374 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

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