Home > Events > Rebecca Hetherington (University of Melbourne): Community consultations in language policy
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Rebecca Hetherington (University of Melbourne): Community consultations in language policy

Time: 
Monday, September 12, 2016 - 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Location: 
Art & Sociology Building, #3211

 

Multilingual Research Center Brown Bag Speaker Series:

Community consultations in language policy: Not so representative after all

Government language policy has the potential to ensure language maintenance and revival in indigenous and ethnic communities, to validate language use and the cultural information that languages encode, and to ensure the equitable participation of language communities in schooling and society more broadly. Due to the direct impact on a large proportion of the public, a common feature of the government policy-making process is community consultation.

However, consultative processes may not actually enable the representation of language communities in policy. In this presentation I will discuss the case of Australian language policy, drawing on interviews with key policy makers and bureaucrats as well as members of language communities who have taken part in consultations. Given the importance of community representation in the domain of language policy, I will examine the problems inherent to standard consultative processes in language policy, and propose alternative courses of action that can be adopted by both government and communities.

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Rebecca Hetherington is a PhD Candidate in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She is interested in language policy, community representation and policy theory, and her current work examines community consultations in Australian language policy from its inception in the 1980s.