Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Language policy Related Abstracts

12 Language Factor in the Formation of National and Cultural Identity of Kazakhstan

Authors: Andabayeva Dina, Avakova Raushangul, Kortabayeva Gulzhamal, Rakhymbay Bauyrzhan

Abstract:

This article attempts to give an overview of the language situation and language planning in Kazakhstan. Statistical data is given and excursion to history of languages in Kazakhstan is done. Particular emphasis is placed on the national- cultural component of the Kazakh people, namely the impact of the specificity of the Kazakh language on ethnic identity. Language is one of the basic aspects of national identity. Recently, in the Republic of Kazakhstan purposeful work on language development has been conducted. Optimal solution of language problems is a factor of interethnic relations harmonization, strengthening and consolidation of the peoples and public consent. Development of languages - one of the important directions of the state policy in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The problem of the state language, as part of national (civil) identification play a huge role in the successful integration process of Kazakh society. And quite rightly assume that one of the foundations of a new civic identity is knowing Kazakh language by all citizens of Kazakhstan. The article is an analysis of the language situation in Kazakhstan in close connection with the peculiarities of cultural identity.

Keywords: Language policy, Language planning, Ethnolinguistics, Kazakhstan, mentality, language personality

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11 The Landscape of Multilingualism in the Urban Community of Limassol

Authors: Antigoni Parmaxi, Anna Nicolaou, Salomi Papadima-Sophocleous, Dimitrios Boglou

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This study provides an overview of the socio linguistic situation of an under-researched city, Limassol, Cyprus, with regard to multilingualism and plurilingualism. More specifically, it explores issues pertaining to multilingualism and plurilingualism in education, the public sphere, economic life, the private sphere, and urban spaces. Through an examination of Limassol’s history of language diversity, as well as through an analysis of the city from a contemporary point of view, the study attempts to portray the multilingual Limassol of yesterday and of today. Findings demonstrate several aspects of multilingualism, such as how communication is achieved among the citizens, how the city encourages multilingualism, as well as what policies and practices are implemented in the various spheres in order to promote intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding. As a result of the findings, suggestions for best practices, introduction or improvement of policies and visions of the city are put forward.

Keywords: Multilingualism, Language policy, Social Inclusion, Language diversity, language visibility

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10 Models of Bilingual Education in Majority Language Contexts: An Exploratory Study of Bilingual Programmes in Qatari Primary Schools

Authors: Fatma Al-Maadheed

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Following an ethnographic approach this study explored bilingual programmes offered by two types of primary schools in Qatar: international and Independent schools. Qatar with its unique linguistic and socio-economic situation launched a new initiative for educatiobnal development in 2001 but with hardly any research linked to theses changes. The study reveals that the Qatari bilingual schools context was one of heteroglossia, with three codes in operation: Modern Standard Arabic, Colloquial Arabic dialects and English. The two schools adopted different models of bilingualism. The international school adopted a strict separation policy between the two languages following a monoglossic belief. The independent school was found to apply a flexible language policy. The study also highlighted the daily challnges produced from the diglossia situation in Qatar, the difference between students and teacher dialect as well as acquiring literacy in the formal language. In addition to an abscence of a clear language policy in Schools, the study brought attention to the instructional methods utilised in language teaching which are mostly associated with successful bilingual education.

Keywords: Language policy, Diglossia, instructional methods, qatari primary schools

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9 Ethnolinguistic Identity and Language Policies: Negotiating Identity and Diversity in Modern Linguistic Environment in Malawi

Authors: Peter Mayeso Jiyajiya

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The question of language and identity in the post-colonial Africa has resulted in the policy inconsistencies and perceived wayward practices regarding language use. The need to reside and situate oneself in the global village has alienated local identities, with most countries, Malawi in particular promoting exogenous colonial language(s) at the expense of local languages that mirror people’s identities. This has brought a mismatch between language policy and implementation. The resultant effect has been alienation of the ‘Self’ from one’s indigenous identity and creation of the ‘other’ in the foreign identity, and the undermining of the linguistic rights of the minority language speakers. The need to negotiate the identity and modernity in the global village is thus imperative. The paper attempts to review the language situation in Malawi in light of the growing desire for international integration vis-à-vis the cultivation and maintenance of national ethnolinguistic identity. It further highlights the dilemma that the promotion of vernacular languages is facing in the modern Malawi. It also examines the Malawi language policy and its implementation. The failures, challenges, and inconsistencies are discussed in order to negotiate the position of minority languages in the modern Malawi. The paper notes that identity construction and maintenance within the framework of language policy in Malawi is undermined by attitudinal factors towards one’s culture and language. The paper then provides suggestions of negotiating identity in Malawi within the framework of globalisation through the placement of premiums on the minority languages.

Keywords: Identity, Language policy, vernacular language, minority languages

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8 Cameroon’s State Bilingualism: Mending Fences between Linguistic Communities

Authors: Charles Esambe Alobwede

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From the time of the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, languages as well as people have learnt to co-exist. It is obvious that when languages co-exist, there is the inevitable tendency of linguistic influence. This is because a language can either be a unifying factor or a factor of division within a given community, especially in a multicultural and multi-linguistic community where such a situation has led to socio-political and economic tension. Thus, leaders of such communities have a duty to plan and implement a language policy that will meet the needs of all members of the community in order to enhance its corporateness. The present article will focus on some of the major reasons that prompted the government of Cameroon to embark on an official bilingual policy after independence in 1961 and then evaluate the evolution of the linguistic situation. The article will equally look at the consequences, especially on a socio-political platform and what today has been termed 'the Anglophone problem' in Cameroon which has caused a fuse between the country’s minority Anglophone population and the majority Francophone administration. Data for the present article is collected from literature on the state of official bilingualism in Cameroon, newspapers articles on the prevailing situation in the country and interviews with actors on the field.

Keywords: Language policy, Multicultural, Linguistic Influence, official bilingualism, socio-political tension

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7 Webster´s Spelling Book: A Product of Language-in-Education Policies in the United States in the Early 1800s

Authors: Virginia Andrea Garrido Meirelles

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Noah Webster was a lexicographer and a language reformer and is considered the ‘Father of American Scholarship and Education’ because of the exceptional contributions he made as a teacher and grammarian. The goal of this study is to show that the success of his plan can be explained by the fact that it matched the language-in-education policies of his time. To accomplish that goal the present study analyzes the Massachusetts School Laws of 1642, 1647 and 1648 and compares them to the preface of the first edition of The Grammatical Institute of the English Language. The referred laws were three legislative acts enacted in the Massachusetts Colony and replicated almost identically in the other New England colonies. The purpose of those laws was to eradicate pauperism and poverty, on the one side, and to disseminate the idea of right citizenship, on the other. However, until the Declaration of Independence in 1776, all the primers used in the colony were printed in Britain. In 1783, Noah Webster published the first part of his Grammatical Institute of the English Language. In this book, the author states that his goal is to promote the republican principles that guide the civil rights of that time. The material included many texts taken from the Bible to inspire aversion to inadequate behavior and preference for service and good manners. In addition, its goal was to present ‘a new plan of reducing the pronunciation of our language to an easy standard,’ and in that way, create a unified language to abolish ignorance and language corruption. The comparison between the laws and Webster’s Spelling Book shows that the book is the result of the historical and political situation when it was conceived and it satisfied the requirements of the language-in-education policies of the time.

Keywords: Language policy, American English, the Massachusetts school laws, webster's spelling book

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6 English as a Foreign Language for Deaf Students in the K-12 Schools in Turkey: A Policy Analysis

Authors: Cigdem Fidan

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Deaf students in Turkey generally do not have access to foreign language classes. However, the knowledge of foreign languages, especially English, is important for them to access knowledge and other opportunities in the globalizing world. In addition, learning any language including foreign languages is a basic linguistic human right. This study applies critical discourse analysis to examine language ideologies, perceptions of deafness and current language and education policies used for deaf education in Turkey. The findings show that representation of deafness as a disability in policy documents, ignorance the role of sign languages in education and lack of policies that support foreign language education for the deaf may result in inaccessibility of foreign language education for deaf students in Turkey. The paper concludes with recommendations for policymakers, practitioners, and advocates for the deaf.

Keywords: Language policy, English as a Foreign Language, deaf learners, linguistic human rights

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5 A Multilingual Model in the Multicultural World

Authors: Marina Petrova

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Language policy issues related to the preservation and development of the native languages of the Russian peoples and the state languages of the national republics are increasingly becoming the focus of recent attention of educators and parents, public and national figures. Is it legal to teach the national language or the mother tongue as the state language? Due to that dispute language phobia moods easily evolve into xenophobia among the population. However, a civilized, intelligent multicultural personality can only be formed if the country develops bilingualism and multilingualism, and languages as a political tool help to find ‘keys’ to sufficiently closed national communities both within a poly-ethnic state and in internal relations of multilingual countries. The purpose of this study is to design and theoretically substantiate an efficient model of language education in the innovatively developing Republic of Sakha. 800 participants from different educational institutions of Yakutia worked at developing a multilingual model of education. This investigation is of considerable practical importance because researchers could build a methodical system designed to create conditions for the formation of a cultural language personality and the development of the multilingual communicative competence of Yakut youth, necessary for communication in native, Russian and foreign languages. The selected methodology of humane-personal and competence approaches is reliable and valid. Researchers used a variety of sources of information, including access to related scientific fields (philosophy of education, sociology, humane and social pedagogy, psychology, effective psychotherapy, methods of teaching Russian, psycholinguistics, socio-cultural education, ethnoculturology, ethnopsychology). Of special note is the application of theoretical and empirical research methods, a combination of academic analysis of the problem and experienced training, positive results of experimental work, representative series, correct processing and statistical reliability of the obtained data. It ensures the validity of the investigation’s findings as well as their broad introduction into practice of life-long language education.

Keywords: Intercultural Communication, Language policy, multilingual and multicultural education, the Sakha Republic of Yakutia

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4 Implementation of Language Policy in a Swedish Multicultural Early Childhood School: A Development Project

Authors: Carina Hermansson

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This presentation focuses a development project aiming at developing and documenting the steps taken at a multilingual, multicultural K-5 school, with the aim to improve the achievement levels of the pupils by focusing language and literacy development across the schedule in a digital classroom, and in all units of the school. This pre-formulated aim, thus, may be said to adhere to neoliberal educational and accountability policies in terms of its focus on digital learning, learning results, and national curriculum standards. In particular the project aimed at improving the collaboration between the teachers, the leisure time unit, the librarians, the mother tongue teachers and bilingual study counselors. This is a school environment characterized by cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and professional pluralization. The overarching aims of the research project were to scrutinize and analyze the factors enabling and obstructing the implementation of the Language Policy in a digital classroom. Theoretical framework: We apply multi-level perspectives in the analyses inspired by Uljens’ ideas about interactive and interpersonal first order (teacher/students) and second order(principal/teachers and other staff) educational leadership as described within the framework of discursive institutionalism, when we try to relate the Language Policy, educational policy, and curriculum with the administrative processes. Methodology/research design: The development project is based on recurring research circles where teachers, leisure time assistants, mother tongue teachers and study counselors speaking the mother tongue of the pupils together with two researchers discuss their digital literacy practices in the classroom. The researchers have in collaboration with the principal developed guidelines for the work, expressed in a Language Policy document. In our understanding the document is, however, only a part of the concept, the actions of the personnel and their reflections on the practice constitute the major part of the development project. One and a half years out of three years have now passed and the project has met with a row of difficulties which shed light on factors of importance for the progress of the development project. Field notes and recordings from the research circles, a survey with the personnel, and recorded group interviews provide data on the progress of the project. Expected conclusions: The problems experienced deal with leadership, curriculum, interplay between aims, technology, contents and methods, the parents as customers taking their children to other schools, conflicting values, and interactional difficulties, that is, phenomena on different levels, ranging from school to a societal level, as for example teachers being substituted as a result of the marketization of schools. Also underlying assumptions from actors at different levels create obstacles. We find this study and the problems we are facing utterly important to share and discuss in an era with a steady flow of refugees arriving in the Nordic countries.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Language policy, multicultural school, school development project

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3 The Attitudes towards English Relative to Other Languages in Indonesia: Discrepancies between Policy and Usage

Authors: Rani Silvia

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English has surpassed other languages to become the most widely taught and studied foreign language in Indonesia. This reflects the tendency of the Indonesian public to participate in global mainstream culture, which is longstanding but has been greatly facilitated by the widespread availability of television, the traditional media, and more recently the Internet and social media. However, despite increasing exposure and a history of teaching and study, mastery of English remains low, even as interest and perceived importance continue to increase. This along with Indonesia’s extremely complex linguistic environment has increased the status and value associated with the use of English and is changing the dynamic of language use nationwide. This study investigates the use of English in public settings in Indonesia as well as the attitudes of Indonesian speakers towards English. A case study was developed to explicate this phenomenon in a major Indonesian city. Fifty individuals, including both professionals and lay people, were interviewed about their language preferences as well as their perceptions about English as compared to other languages, such as the local language, Indonesian as the national language, and other foreign languages. Observations on the use of language in the public environment in advertising, signs, and other forms of public expression were analyzed to identify language preferences at this level and their relationship to current language policy. This study has three major findings. First, Indonesian speakers have more positive attitudes towards English than other languages; second, English has encroached on domains in which Indonesian should be used; and third, perceived awareness of the importance of Indonesian as an introduced national language seems to be declining to suggest a failure of policy. The study includes several recommendations for the future development of language planning in determining and directing language use in a public context in Indonesia.

Keywords: English, Language policy, language attitudes, Indonesia

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2 Kazakh Language Assessment in a New Multilingual Kazakhstan

Authors: Karlygash Adamova

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This article is focused on the KazTest as one of the most important high-stakes tests and the key tool in Kazakh language assessment. The research will also include the brief introduction to the language policy in Kazakhstan. Particularly, it is going to be changed significantly and turn from bilingualism (Kazakh, Russian) to multilingual policy (three languages - Kazakh, Russian, English). Therefore, the current status of the abovementioned languages will be described. Due to the various educational reforms in the country, the language evaluation system should also be improved and moderated. The research will present the most significant test of Kazakhstan – the KazTest, which is aimed to evaluate the Kazakh language proficiency. Assessment is an ongoing process that encompasses a wide area of knowledge upon the productive performance of the learners. Test is widely defined as a standardized or standard method of research, testing, diagnostics, verification, etc. The two most important characteristics of any test, as the main element of the assessment - validity and reliability - will also be described in this paper. Therefore, the preparation and design of the test, which is assumed to be an indicator of knowledge, and it is highly important to take into account all these properties.

Keywords: Multilingualism, Testing, Language policy, Language Assessment

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1 Bedouin Dialects: Language Use and Identity Perceptions of Bedouin-Speaking University Students in North-Western Saudi Arabia and Implications for Language Vitality

Authors: Hend Albalawi

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Amid the dynamic use of the Arabic language worldwide, Saudi Arabia employs Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) as its formal, official language, whereas other dialects of Arabic are common in informal situations. Such trends not only maintain the powerful, state-supported status of MSA but are liable to also affect the use and status of other varieties, including Bedouin dialects, and prompt code-mixing behaviour among their speakers. Exposure to MSA and English in education in Saudi Arabia may also be liable to reduce the vitality of Bedouin dialects in the country, particularly among current generations of educated Bedouin speakers. Therefore, the proposed research will involve examining the perceived vitality of Bedouin dialects in Saudi language policies prescribing MSA as the official national language of Saudi Arabia and requiring university students to complete English-language coursework in the national education system. It will also entail identifying Bedouin speakers’ attitudes towards the use of Bedouin dialects in order to assess the need, if any, to implement policies in Saudi Arabia that can enhance the use of those dialects amid the competing use of MSA and English in the country. Empirical data collected from questionnaires and semi-structured interviews that purport patterns of the everyday use of languages among Bedouin-speaking university students in Tabuk, as well as the content of language policy documents, can clarify whether policy-based pressure to use MSA and English in mainstream educational and social activities in Saudi Arabia has jeopardised the language vitality of Bedouin dialects in north-west Saudi Arabia. The findings of the research can thus ultimately contribute to the development of policies to support and enhance the use of Bedouin dialects and, in turn, their language vitality.

Keywords: Language policy, attitudes, vitality, Bedouin dialects

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