European Journal of Language Policy

A critical analysis of language policy in Scotland

European Journal of Language Policy (2015), 7, (1), 5–28.

Abstract

Language offerings in Scottish universities are diverse and have their own acute sense of their situation. Some have a precarious hold, others are buoyant. In a research and teaching environment increasingly determined by league tables and “power rankings”, this paper considers a variety of insecurities which have manifested themselves in the context of the Gaelic Language Act (Scotland) 2005; in the changing landscape of modern languages, symbolically represented in the university sector; and through the new Curriculum for Excellence for Scottish Schools. In particular, it critically examines some of the less visible aspects and informal forms of language practices which thrive or survive in Scotland today. Drawing theoretically from Cameron (2012), Cronin (2003; 2006; 2012) and Forsdick (2005), and from postcolonial and indigenous scholars of languages, including Tuhiwai Smith (2012) and Muehlmann (2007), the paper considers the legislative environment with regard to language planning in Scotland and offers some theoretical ways forward.

Les ofres de langues dans les universités écossaises sont diverses et font face à l’urgence de certaines de leur situation, allant du bouillonnement à la précarité. Dans un contexte de recherche et d’enseignement de plus en plus déterminé par les classements, ce papier se penche sur une série d’incertitudes qui sont apparues dans le contexte de la loi écossaise sur le gaélique, dans le paysage changeant des langues modernes, symboliquement représentées dans le secteur universitaire, et à travers le nouveau programme d’excellence des écoles écossaises. Le papier examine en particulier les formes informelles et certains des aspects les moins visibles des pratiques langagières qui prospèrent ou vivotent en Ecosse. Le papier s’inspire théoriquement de Cameron (2012) , Cronin (2003 ; 2006 ; 2012 ) , Forsdick (2005) et des linguistes postcoloniaux et indigènes comme Tuhiwai Smith et Muehlmann (Muehlmann 2007 ; Tuhiwai Smith 2012) pour examiner l’environnement législatif de la planifcation linguistique en écosse et ofrir de nouvelles pistes théoriques.

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Phipps, Alison

Fassetta, Giovanna