ERIC Number: ED390301
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Language Choice in an Acutely Multilingual Society: Communication and Development in Papua New Guinea.
Smith, Geoff P.
Acute intercultural communication problems posed by multilingualism in Papua New Guinea are discussed, and ways in which they are being addressed are examined. An introductory section outlines the language situation in Melanesia. It is noted that the area's language diversity and colonization and missionary activity have resulted in the emergence of several, mostly European, languages of wider communication. Government policy concerning official languages in Papua New Guinea, which has over 850 native languages, is described and the evolution of literacy and language policy in education in the last two decades is chronicled. Intergroup misunderstanding, suspicion, and hostility arising in part from language diversity are seen as endemic, causing problems particularly in resource development projects. Finally, a program at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology, opened in 1995 and designed to deal specifically with problems of communication in economic and social development is described. The program offers qualifications at certificate, diploma, or degree levels in a wide range of subject areas, including conflict resolution, law and administration, technology, sociology, environmental studies, critical thinking, mathematics, media studies, translation and interpretation, economics, technical and proposal writing, engineering, and map reading. Contains 34 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Conflict Resolution, Critical Thinking, Cultural Awareness, Developing Nations, Economic Development, Economics, Educational Policy, Environmental Education, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Interpretive Skills, Language Role, Language Usage, Legal Problems, Mathematics Education, Multilingualism, Official Languages, Persuasive Discourse, Pidgins, Program Descriptions, Public Administration, Public Policy, Sociology, Technical Writing, Translation
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Language Choice; Papua New Guinea
Note: Paper presented at an International Conference on Language in Development: The Stakeholders' Perspectives (2nd, Denpasar, Bali, April 10-12, 1995).