chapter  56
16 Pages

Micro Language Planning

Micro or local language planning, which is a relatively new way of thinking about the field of language planning and policy (LPP), has come about as a realisation of two converging trends. First, classical or macro language planners have realised that for language planning to be effective, and to understand how those effects work, there is a need to examine activities at a local or micro level. Moreover, for some groups large scale language planning may not be possible. For example, sustaining small languages (or small groups of users of languages) requires hands on involvement at a local level that may not be practicable to orchestrate at a national level (Liddicoat & Baldauf, 2008). In addition, many language problems are of little consequence when seen as part of the macro scheme of things, i.e. what language provisions and support are available in a particular company (Nekvapil & Nekula, 2008), or how a language teacher implements a programme to ensure learning in a classroom (Martin, 2005). Such local or micro language problems may be of critical importance to a particular company, school, group or even to an individual, but they may not have any apparent wider significance. Second, there has been a critical turn in the language planning literature, evident in the work of Luke, McHoul and Mey (1990), where they have suggested that language planning should take a more critical ethnographic or discourse-oriented focus if it is to actually address language problems. One approach that explicitly does this has been Language Management Theory (Jernudd & Neustupný, 1987; Neustupný & Nekvapil, 2003; Nekvapil, Chapter 52, this volume), which provides an alternate LPP paradigm for examining language planning issues at the local or micro level through its notion of simple management.