Language Policy and Planning

Thematic Area B "Language Policy and Planning" examines the adequacy of the existing language policy and language planning efforts in the European countries.

Summary Results

  • LINEE researchers have found that multilingualism has many (sometimes contradictory) meanings that are prone to produce conceptual misunderstandings.
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  • Three case studies carried out by LINEE researchers suggest that a monolingual ideology informs language policies dealing with migrants in the investigated regions in Switzerland, Spain and England.
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  • A LINEE study indicates that at least in certain regions of Romania, the Czech Republic and France, standard German is mainly perceived as an economic asset and that German dialects are gradually disappearing.
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  • The concept of multilingualism is susceptible to contradictions which present difficulties to decision-makers and policy-makers likewise.
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  • In the UK, in Switzerland and in Spain, official language policies focus on languages which are considered to be indigenous to the country.
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  • Making signs, such as street signs, road signs or tourist information signs, bi- or multilingual can meet with opposition. Among others, researchers identified strategies which appear to help in avoiding such opposition.
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Research Area Report B

Second phase: Key findings "Language Policy and Planning"

Research Area Report B

First phase: Key findings "Language Policy and Planning"

LINEE Newsletter,
January 2010

Latest results on all thematic areas

LINEE-Newsletter, March 2009

Results of "Language Policy and Planning", onging research and more

Description Thematic Area B

Most conventional accounts of language policy and language planning (LPLP) tend to focus on the critical analysis of policy content from the various perspectives of policy specialists, policy theorists and language activists. However, this important body of work neglects the internal processes of policy formulation within institutions on the one hand, and the impact of policies on their target groups on the other.

An unintended consequence of this approach is the depersonalisation of both production and reception: policies are written, published and implemented by public bodies and adhered to or resisted by weakly specified social groups. Debates on language policy take place relatively rarely in public forums parliaments or mass media and even then the negotiation of policy proposals and strategic initiatives that typically precedes such events generally remains unheard and inaccessible, as do the voices of those affected.

The overriding aim of the 3 research projects conducted within this thematic area (WP4, 5 and 6) was therefore to redirect our analytical gaze from the textual outcomes alone to the thinking and experiences of the social actors involved in the various stages of the policy planning process: policy makers (in European, national and regional/local institutions), stakeholders (both political in the narrow sense and non-governmental) and individuals.