Language planning, policy and implementation in south Afirca


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Language planning, policy and implementation in south Afirca

  1. 1. Language Planning, Policy andImplementation in South AfricaByAtheer Lateef
  2. 2. The history of language is not separate from the rest of human history:on the contrary, it is an essential aspect of it. Human history is as muchas history of semiotic activity as it is of socio-economic activity.
  3. 3. South AfricaIndependence from the United KingdomUnion 31 May 1910On 31 May 1961, the country became a republic.South Africas populationSouth Africa is a nation of diversity, with nearly 52-million people (2013)and a wide variety of cultures, languages and religious beliefs.Read more :
  4. 4. Nearly 25 languages are used in South Africa on a daily basis bymore than 45 million people (Statistics South Africa 2003). Themajority of South Africans, almost 80% of the population, use anAfrican language as their home language.Distribution of LanguagesEnglish8%Others1% Afrikaans13%African languages78%EnglishOthersAfrikaansAfrican languagese
  5. 5. Languages of South Africa• South Africa has eleven official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, NorthernSotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu. While all the languagesare formally equal, some languages are spoken more than others. According to the2011 National Survey, the three most spoken first home languages are Zulu(22.7%), Xhosa (16.0%), and Afrikaans (13.5%). Despite the fact that English isrecognised as the language of commerce and science, it ranked fourth, and wasspoken by only 9.6% of South Africans at home in 2011.
  6. 6. Languages of South Africa• The country also recognises several unofficial languages, includingFanagalo, Khoi, Lobedu, Nama, Northern Ndebele, Phuthi, San and South African SignLanguage.• Many white South Africans also speak other European languages, such as Portuguese, German, and Greek, while some Asians and Indians in South Africa speak South Asianlanguages, such as Tamil, Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, and Telugu. French is spoken in SouthAfrica by migrants from Francophone Africa.
  7. 7. n• South Africa is one of the multilingual society.• The government declared ‘11’ languages as the official languagesof the country to be used at all levels.• This decision was influenced by the politics of compromise that ledto the formation of a democratic South Africa.• The policy replaced the former language policies that contributedto the uplifting and development of English & Afrikaans as the onlyofficial national languages in South Africa.
  8. 8. framework1. Rational model ( canonical model or ideal planning model ).• The policy aspect of language planning is referred to as allocation, languagehappening, and language treatment• The canonical model considers the choice of the national/official language asproperly a government decision.2. Alternative model argues that an adequate model of language planningshould accommodate several types/levels of governmental or non-governmental decision-making and implementation, and several planningmechanisms.
  9. 9. management• Language management focuses on discourse and this “ providesa basis on which to relate language planning to other languagesystems such as language cultivation, terminology, and languageteaching.”
  10. 10. Language planning modelForm ( policy planning )Society ( status planning )1_ Selection (decision procedure)• Problem identification• Allocation of normsLanguage ( corpus planning )2_ Codification (standardization procedure)• Graphisation• Grammatication• LexicationFunction ( language cultivation )Society ( status planning )3_ Implementation (educational spread)• Correction procedures• EvaluationLanguage ( corpus planning )4_ Elaboration (functional development)• Terminological modernization• Stylistic development• Internationalization
  11. 11. tionCompartmentalization suggests that a particular language or variety may be chosen forspecific purposes and given official status. This may result in a language policy which is aproduct of language planning and can be comprehended within the discourse of languagepolitics and society or the more informal but powerful political and social aspects oflanguage planning.• Language status planning issues are related to political issues as the status planningfocuses on legislative decisions that affect the reallocation of language functions.• Language corpus planning focuses on changes by deliberate planning to the actualcorpus or shape of a language.
  12. 12. Policy approach versus cultivation approach in SouthAfrica• According to (Antia, 2000) affirms that the development of a language also depends by andlarge on the planning of its corpus. Even if the policy can elevate the status oflanguage, corpus development of language is a major step that will bring practicalexperience in the implementation process.• In 1822 the British authorities issued a formal declaration based on language use in theCape colony as part of Anglicization where English was declared as the only officiallanguage.• The Dutch speaking community resisted this policy and the resistance laid the foundation oflanguage planning in a strict sense after the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910.• The legislated language use incidentally led to the standardization of certain indigenouslanguages through the system of “divide and rule”, the politics that allowed indigenouslanguages to be used within ethnic designed areas.
  13. 13. Status planning in the democratic SouthAfrica• The difficulties involved in language planning decisions compelled the democraticallyelected government of 1994 to reach a compromise in the language issue.• Then Ministry of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology formed the Language Action TaskGroup (LANGTAG) as a forerunner to the Pan South Africa Board (PanSAB) to bring asolution to language issues.• PanSAB was granted constitutional power to ensure that all languages are developed andproperly represented in the language policy ( South Africa Constitution, 1996).• PanSAB completed the final draft of the National Language policy Framework, andsubmitted it to the Minster of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology who then submitted itto parliament for the necessary legislative Act.
  14. 14. Some other documents about languagepolicy• The National Language Policy Framework (NLPF) is the major document and binds allgovernment structures to a “multilingual mode of operation”.• The other important document is the Language in Education Policy issued Ministry ofEducation in 1996.• Ministry of Education has another document called the Language Policy of HigherEducation which places power to determine language policy in higher education.• Western Cape has managed to produce a document called The Western Cape ProvincialLanguages Act of 1998.• All these documents are important in the development of South African languages.
  15. 15. The nature of the new South Africanlanguage policy• Language planning in South Africa takes into consideration an understanding that officiallanguage policies were used by the apartheid ideology to establish and consolidateAfrikaner nationalist hegemony, ethnic separation and institutionalized inequality.• The language policy is objectively designed to maintain ethnic diversity and the politicsof compromise.
  16. 16. National Constitution which states that a PanSouth African Board established by nationallegislation must:1. Promote, and create conditions for, the development and use of(a) All official language(b) The Khoi, Nama and San languages(c) Sign languages2. Promote and ensure respect for:(a) All languages commonly used by communities in South Africa, including German,Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Portuguese, Tamil, Telegu and Urdu(b) Arabic, Hebrew, Sankrit and other languages used for religious purposes in SouthAfrica.
  17. 17. • According to Chick (1992), the important challenge is the promotion of the notion of“language ecology in which all languages are viewed as national resources needing tobe preserved so that the talents of their native speakers may be optimally utilized forthe good of all.• The policy plan is designed to ensure that all languages are used at all-levels and theyare grouped together to be used on rational basis.1. Nguni languages as well as Sotho languages are grouped together according tointelligibility.2. English and Afrikaans are grouped together because the assumption is that theirspeakers are bilingual.3. Tsonga and Venda languages since they do not fall in either each of the groups and theyare considered not mutually intelligible.4. The model is simplified so that one can learn at least five or six languages.
  18. 18. The problem of implementation and the “EscapeClauses”• The main challenge to the South Africa language policy is the problem of implementation.The actual content of the official language policy is determined by specific regulation oflanguage use in interactions between the state and the subjects.• The problem of implementation is the discourse used to mobilize people of variouslanguage groups behind language planning initiative in the country.• The emphasis is on equality and equity, language rights versus language and otheruse, and practicability.• The concepts of equality and equity refer primarily to the status of the official language.This is reflected in the statement: All official languages must enjoy “parity of esteem” andbe treated equitably.
  19. 19. • The “equity” in the 1996 Constitution replaced “equality” which appears in interimConstitution “equal use and enjoyment”.• In the view of the history of “official denigration and neglect of the indigenouslanguage, a need for differential and preferential treatment”.• Parity of esteem; would suggest that considerations of practicality can be put aside anda sincere effort made ensure that no particular languages dominate at the neglect ofothers. This also ensure the protection of minority languages.• Equitable use of the official languages is also related to the freedom to exercise languagerights.• Language rights = freedom of language choice, recognition, protection & promotion.• African languages are positively associated with tradition and culture.• Ethnicity is a symbol of individual’s identity and intimate social relations.
  20. 20. • Linguistic differences are allowed to address the communication situation of particularcommunity. For the purposes of “practicality” it may be argued that the object of theconstitutional language policy is to provide protection for the diversity of languages.• The language of choice only means the language that could be used in so far as thatwould be “reasonably practicable”.• Reasonably practicable refers to as the “escape clauses” (together withusage, expense, regional circumstance, etc.).• As a result the South African Language Policy is politically and ideologically functional.
  21. 21. policy• The status planning in South Africa has addressed issues of the history of apartheid andthe birth of a democratic state.• The language stipulations show major strength in promoting diversity, politicalparticipation and access to services.• The official language policy was intended to make one or more designated, or moreidentifiable language official in domains of legislation, justice, public administration andeducation.• The legislation is based on two principles;1. Territoriality ( the obligation or right to use one or more designated languages within agiven territory).2. Linguistic personality (the obligation or the right to use one’s own language or anyother language).
  22. 22. Towards a successfulimplementationThere are certain strategies that need to be followed in ensuring a successfulimplementation of the language policy in South Africa.
  23. 23. First strategy• Any language can only be developed and preserved properly through corpus planning.• European languages are able to serve as means for communicating specialized informationand knowledge, “crucial to the pursuit of goals on the global agenda, e.g., theenvironment, international public health, empowerment, democratization and goodgovernance.• English language is now seen as claiming a more and more dominant status despite of apolicy that uplifts the status of the languages in South Africa.• Socio-economic pressures, the need for international communication standards and stablegeo-political relations as the contributing factors towards language death and a shift tomonolingualism.• The implementation of the language policy requires the development of teaching materialand other applications.• Corpus planning involves providing terminologies to serve socio-economic development. Italso involves developing new vocabulary and discourse which will in turn help in thedevelopment of teaching material and other applications.
  24. 24. Second strategy• Encouraging people to use their languages in all domains.• We need to establish a context and innovative influence through information andmotivation.• The availability of learning material in all official languages in South Africa serves asmeans and provides an opportunity for development and motivation to use theselanguages.• The systematic development of these languages need to be pursued until people accepttheir languages as commonly used in all domains.
  25. 25. Third strategy• Language specialists should take advantage of new and technologically-based initiativesto develop and preserve each and every language in South Africa.• Computers can play a essential role in corpus planning especially in development ofdictionaries and localizing content.• The research focused to corpus development should be encouraged. This will help indesigning assessment and training material for schools and speech therapy. This will helpin lifting the level of literacy in African languages in South Africa.• Trying to avoid marginalizing languages will depend on the use of new and acceptableconventions and the involvement of the designated audience.
  26. 26. Conclusion• The discourse used in the policy reflects conflicting ideologies emanating from the historyof this country and illuminates the politics that led to the formation of a democratic statein South Africa.• Ethnicity and group demands have had a significant role in language discussions that led tothe formation of the current language policy.• Status planning should be complemented with corpus planning to ensure that languagesare properly developed.• Corpus planning will address a need for localization or glocalization and term creation as asolution to challenge of global technology and modernization.• Creating language teaching resources is a major step in corpus planning, languagedevelopment, and policy implementation.
  27. 27. (Website)
  28. 28. Thanks