European Journal of Language Policy

Language education policy among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

European Journal of Language Policy (2017), 9, (1), 7–25.

Abstract

This article first traces the development of English in ASEAN to its current role as the sole working language of the organisation and then briefly compares certain of the EU’s language polices with ASEAN’s. The article points out that English has become the major ‘foreign’ language taught in ASEAN, often at the expense of local languages. The article argues that, as the major role of English in ASEAN is as a lingua franca, English should be taught as a lingua franca. This would have the added advantage of delaying the teaching of English, thereby allowing primary schools to focus more on local languages. The article concludes with a case study of Myanmar, for which a language education policy is suggested.

Cet article décrit d‘abord le développement de l‘anglais dans l‘ANASE (Association des nations de l’Asie du Sud-Est – ASEAN), qui aboutit à son rôle actuel de langue de travail unique de l’organisation. Il compare brièvement certaines des politiques linguistiques de l’UE avec celles de l’ANASE. L’article souligne que l’anglais est devenu la principale langue “étrangère” enseignée dans l’ANASE, souvent au détriment des langues locales. L’article soutient que, comme le rôle majeur de l’anglais dans l’ANASE est celui de lingua franca, l’anglais doit donc être enseigné comme lingua franca. Cela aurait l’avantage supplémentaire de retarder l’enseignement de l’anglais, ce qui permettrait aux écoles primaires de se concentrer davantage sur les langues locales. L’article se termine par une étude de cas du Myanmar (Birmanie), et propose une politique d’éducation linguistique pour ce pays.

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Kirkpatrick, Andy