Language Policies in English-dominant Countries: Six Case Studies
Edited by: Michael Herriman, Barbara Burnaby
Recent years have seen the development of language policies in many countries, usually for the purpose of defining status, support and recognition of languages and language diversity. This book analyses policy development in six countries where, because of its association with colonial expansion, English has become the dominant language and hence the language of power, government and civil commerce, often replacing other local languages. Recent demographic and political changes have forced a recognition of the need for re-defining the role and status of language(s) relative to English and to one another and for according linguistic rights to speakers of the non-official language(s). The case studies presented here show the diversity of responses to language issues when taken up officially or by default, and record the struggle of minority-language speakers to attain rights and recognition in education and social services. There is clear evidence of the status impact of decisions on language at all levels and a startling revelation of the intractability of language issues to solutions. The book will be of interest to academics, politicians, educators and students of linguistics, cultural and comparative studies.
Michael Herriman is director of the Centre for ESL and Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics in the University of Western Australia. He has conducted several governmental reviews of ESL in Australia and has been a member of government inquiry bodies reviewing the teaching of languages other than English and Multicultural Education. Barbara Burnaby is a professor in the Department of Adult Education and the Modern Language Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in Toronto, Canada. Her research focuses on ESL for adult immigrants and on English and Aboriginal languages in education for Aboriginal peoples in Canada.