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 innovative book provides an excellent and critical overview of the intention, interpretation and implementation of Australian language policies. Educationalists and language policymakers in countries, like Japan, destined to depend on immigrants for a human power shortage, will find this book instructive and insightful.
- Yasukata Yano, Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics, Waseda University, Japan
This is a major contribution to our understanding of the interplay between language policy - in all its manifestations - and the realities of teaching and learning. The authors clearly understand the broader significance of multilingualism for our 21st century society and offer some striking insights into the realities and possibilities of languages education in a multicultural context. In so doing they suggest a vision of the 'new spaces' opening up in the future.
- Lid King, National Director for Languages, England, 2003-2011
A unique perspective on how areas such as language planning, social change and classroom-based research interact and may contribute to the development of language planning theory and language education policy, Lo Bianco's and Aliani's volume stands out as an innovative and much needed contribution to both fields. The 'voices from the classroom' emerging from the authors' longitudinal study nourish, sustain and legitimate new ways of working for language policy makers while offering different tools for scholars exploring education theories in action.
- Lucilla Lopriore, Roma Tre University, Italy
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
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.