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.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- 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;
- discuss the degree to which linguistic behaviour can be legislated and language use proscribed or mandated;
- assess whether national language policies can be said to be meaningful or successful;
- explain the complex attitudes people have to language, multilingualism and national identity;
- reflect on and articulate how your own views on language management have developed over the course of the semester.
Indicative AssessmentTutorial Preparation Tasks, 1500 words total (30%) [LOs 1-5 ]
Case study proposal and annotated bibliography, 1000 words (20%) [LOs 1-4]
Case study, 2500 words (40%) [LOs 1-4]
Tutorial participation (10%) [LOs 1-5]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials, and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Spolsky, B.,2004 Language Policy, Cambridge University Press.
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- 6 units
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