ERIC Number: ED442281
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
On the Directionality and Maintenance of Language Policy in Revitalization Efforts.
Clankie, Shawn M.
This paper examines efforts to save rapidly declining indigenous languages around the world. The entire process of language preservation and revitalization is a massive undertaking that requires immense long-term planning and support. These problems extend well beyond the linguistic concerns of the language itself. Language policy is inherently political in nature, pitting different linguistic (but also ethnic, religious, or cultural) groups against one another, any or all of whom may have reason to try to undermine any policy. This paper centers on these two distinct yet inter-related concerns in language revitalization efforts: directionality and policy preservation. The problem of directionality of language policy, the direction from which policy is generated and implemented, namely, top-down (government-imposed) or bottom-up (grassroots public-imposed) is unavoidable. It is argued that neither approach can be entirely successful without the other and that the present societal structure where the language is to be used must be considered. The second problem, the question of how to preserve policy over time and through changes in government and leadership once a language policy has been agreed upon and is being implemented, is equally essential. Five suggestions are offered for preserving existing policy, while at the same time allowing the policy to grow and develop. Current research on this subject is reviewed. (Contains 11 references.) (Author/KFT)
Descriptors: African Languages, Bilingual Education Programs, Bilingualism, Cultural Pluralism, Elementary Secondary Education, English, Ethnic Groups, Foreign Countries, French, German, Immersion Programs, Indigenous Populations, Italian, Japanese, Language Maintenance, Language Minorities, Official Languages, Public Policy, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Sociolinguistics, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Algeria; Belgium; France; Japan; Madagascar; Senegal; Singapore; Switzerland; United Kingdom