Language Planning and Policy

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First Adopted in 2013

Language planning encompasses all the processes, formal and informal, overt and covert, which shape the direction and nature of change in language.  Language policy involves explicit decisions usually taken by authorities to influence the function, structure, or acquisition of a language or language variety in a particular speech community, an institution or in a geo-political space, such as a nation.  Some scholars envisage language policy as the superordinate category and see language planning as referring to the diverse concrete steps of its implementation.   Language practices is also an important category since how language is used can often contain rhetoric, modeling, or ideology that influences and leads to change in the form of language itself.

Governments and institutions often undertake language policy and planning initiatives to influence or change the language and literacy practices within a society.   In recent years there has been an upsurge of practical language planning and policy making as a result of economic globalization, increased population movements, and the expansion of communication technologies linking all parts of the world in real time.   Global English is a key part of these phenomena.

Proposals that address this research priority may examine any of the following aspects of the role of language policy and planning (LPP) in a social or educational context:

  • They may investigate levels and/or types of planning.
  • They may consider who the planners are and what their roles are.
  • They may investigate failed plans and policies.
  • The may consider the roles of local legal frameworks on LPP.
  • They may link political theory and processes of LPP.
  • They may examine social issues and LPP.
  • They may focus on social identity and power in language use contexts.
  • They may investigate language rights for linguistic minorities.
  • They may address gaps between what policy proclaims and what is delivered.
  • They may look at different languages, language varieties, dialects or styles of language.
  • They may address how LPP affects different social, regional or ethnic groups.
  • They may document how teachers interpret, modify or enact language policy.
  • They may examine the level of research concepts and field understanding reflected in the language plans of government.
  • They may explore the debates and reactions to language policies in the media or among specific professional groups.
  • They may investigate the effects of communication technologies on language change and how these effects are addressed in language planning.
  • They may look at the impact of the marketing of higher education internationally and its impact on language of instruction.
  • They may examine the impact of global use of English in science publishing on debates in relation to national languages.

One comment

On Aug 31, 2016: Announcing TIRF’s 2016 DDG Awardees | The International Research Foundation for English Language Education said:
[…] Stephens (TIRF-Laureate DDG; Language Planning and Policy) is a doctoral candidate at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on the interplay between […]

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