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Language Planning and Student Experiences Intention, Rhetoric and Implementation Author: Joseph Lo Bianco, Renata Aliani

Paperback - 168 pages
28 Jun 2013
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148


This book is a timely comparison of the divergent worlds of policy implementation and policy ambition, the messy, often contradictory here-and-now reality of languages in schools and the sharp-edged, shiny, future-oriented representation of languages in policy. Two deep rooted tendencies in Australian political and social life, multiculturalism and Asian regionalism, are represented as key phases in the country’s experimentation with language education planning. Presenting data from a five year ethnographic study combined with a 40 year span of policy analysis, this volume is a rare book length treatment of the chasm between imagined policy and its experienced delivery, and will provide insights that policymakers around the world can draw on.


This book will be a welcome resource for all those interested in the processes of language planning and policymaking, including teachers of foreign or indigenous languages, directors of bilingual schools, applied and educational linguists, sociologists and anthropologists focused on educational settings, micro-ethnographers, and curriculum designers in linguistically diverse schools, as well as those scholars specifically interested in Australian education or policymaking. This book should stimulate future language policy research in other countries that are noticing major slippage between the goals of articulated policy and actual classroom results (e.g. the United States and Britain). It should also prove useful in further elaborating existing language planning theories or models, since it stresses that there should be “constant iteration between school and nation, policy and practice” (p. 132). Finally, it should be of great assistance to language education planners who wish to democratize and increase the efficacy of the planning process by integrating bottom-up perspectives with top-down directives.

- The Linguist List 25.744
- Alicia Pousada, University of Pennsylvania

Author Biography:

Joseph Lo Bianco is Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Melbourne and a noted language planning scholar and researcher. He is currently President of Tsinghua Asian-Pacific Forum on Translation and Intercultural Studies and Past President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Renata Aliani is an experienced researcher, programme manager and educator at the Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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