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Macro Levels of Language Policy and Planning Essay Example

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Macro Levels of Language Policy and Planning

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Macro Levels of Language Policy and Planning. There was legitimate concern about language preservation because for the last fifty years or so, Western Europe has seen the development of a new arena in the areas of economic and trade cooperation. In fact, the European Union has been widely perceived as a threat to some national languages as economic integration will inevitably spill over to the cultural and linguistic spheres. A few countries had taken and re-examined their language policies in view of this covert threat (although not deliberate), convergence will soon have its effect on national languages as one language predominates over the others. To illustrate this situation, the European Union consists of some 43 countries with English and French as official languages.

We can compare this situation with that of the United Nations composed of 189 states but has six official languages. Despite being adopted as one of the only two official languages, France is concerned English is often used much more frequently.This seems also to be the prevailing situation in mainland China as it transitioned from a Communist centralized planning economy to one dictated by free market forces but there is a similar concern as Mandarin is adopted in the other remote regions of China which has so many dialects and sub-languages (Friedman, 1995). China suffers from an identity crisis with regards to language problems coupled with its drive to make its citizens learn English quickly. This country is intent on attaining economic superpower status and it views language as one of its weaknesses when it comes to the international arena. Only a very insignificant number of Chinese citizens can speak English fluently and this deficiency is considered as a hindrance to its ambitions of becoming an important player in world affairs. It can be said though that this is a concern not of only China but all countries considering the globalization trend today.On the reverse side is the resurgent interest in some languages which had been in eclipse for some time due to political reasons. Examples given by the author Baldauf are the Irish and Welsh languages where micro level planning and the correct use of agency models had successfully promoted revival in these two languages (Mac Giolla Chriost, 2002). The other example given was that of the Jewish language, this time with the family as agency. The current emphasis on. Macro Levels of Language Policy and Planning.

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