chapter  55
12 Pages

Macro Language Planning

Much of the work in language planning has been at the “macro-” (i.e., state) level. This is especially true for the early or classical period of language planning (Ricento, 2000). The field is a relatively new addition to the anatomy of the academy, having come into existence in the years immediately following World War II. That was a period marked by the beginning of the break-up of European colonial empires and the emergence of new nations, particularly in Africa and Asia. In the opening section of the second edition of the Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics, there is a chapter that attempts to trace the emergence of applied linguistics as a new discipline in the architecture of the university (Kaplan, in press). That chapter cites a great flurry of events occurring from the 1950s through the 1960s (Kaplan, 2003), and continuing through the 1970s and into the 1980s. (Also see, Nekvapil, Chapter 52, this volume.)

A number of those cardinal events was funded through the generous support of the Ford Foundation-a philanthropic organization that took it upon itself to act in lieu of the US federal government, which was preoccupied with other concerns and had essentially failed to recognize language activity as having significance both in the spread of the English language and in the building of the perception of the United States, as a friend to the newly emerging polities in the poorest parts of the world (Fox, 1975). The Ford Foundation also supported the creation of the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC. The British Council was similarly active on behalf of the United Kingdom.