Language- in-Education Policy and Planning in Africa’s Monolingual Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland
Language policy and planning in general, and in postcolonial Africa in particular, is an interest-driven game, one in which the stakeholders, especially the elite, always plan to win by advancing their own interests. I am borrowing the term game from game theory, where it refers to any situation in which there are at least two players, each with a number of possible options or strategies to choose from in order to achieve desirable, payoff-driven outcomes (Harsanyi, 1977; Laitin, 1993). Game theory itself is concerned with predicting real-life human behavior in various social situations and explaining how the players in a game will act to promote their interests (Harsanyi, 1977). With respect to language planning, Harsanyi (1977) points out that game theory has predictive power to determine whether a language policy will fail or succeed. The prediction is based on players’ moves or actions: whether these diverge from or converge with the goals of the game. The moves diverge from the goals of the game if the stakeholders promote the policy publicly but subvert it privately, as will be argued later with respect to language policy and planning in Lesotho and Swaziland. In Africa, there is perhaps no better area to approach language planning as an interest-driven game than status planning for the indigenous African languages in education. This chapter discusses status planning for the indigenous languages in Africa’s monolingual kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland. Wardhaugh (1986) defines status planning as an activity intended to change the function of a language or a variety of a language and the rights of those who use it. For Bourdieu (1991), it is an exercise in regulating the power relationship between languages (or products in the sense of Cooper ) and their respective users in the linguistic marketplace – that is, the social context in which the languages are used.