Article published in:Meaning Making in the Periphery
Edited by Luiz Paulo Moita-Lopes and Mike Baynham
[AILA Review 30] 2017
► pp. 96–119
Traces of old and new center-periphery dynamics in language-in-education policy and practice
Insights from a linguistic ethnographic study in Timor-Leste
This article reveals how center-periphery relations have unfolded, over time, in language policy processes in one nation – Timor-Leste – on the global periphery. We take a longue durée perspective on the language policy processes at work in this historical context, showing how different regimes of language were imposed, in the past, by colonisers from distant centers – in Portugal and then in Java, Indonesia. Then, turning to the post-independence period, we show how a new order of indexicality, forged within the Resistance to the Indonesian occupation, formed the basis for current language policy in Timor-Leste, with Portuguese and Tetum as co-official languages. We also demonstrate that this agentive policy move, from the global periphery, oriented Timor-Leste to new and more complex center-periphery relations, to a ‘lusophone’ world, with Portugal and Brazil as key players. Our account of contemporary policy discourses in Timor-Leste, and of the consequences for language policy implementation, on different scales (national and local), draws on recent research of an ethnographic and multi-scalar nature conducted in Timor-Leste (Da Costa Cabral, 2015).
Keywords: center-periphery dynamics, language ideologies, language policy, multilingual
Available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 4.0 license.
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Published online: 15 January 2018
Cabral, E., & Martin-Jones, M.
Da Costa Cabral, I.
Hornberger, N. H., & Johnson, D. C.
Martin-Jones, M. & Da Costa Cabral, I.
Ministry of Education (MoE)
Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS)
Pietikainen, S., Kelly Holmes, H., Jaffe, A., & Coupland, N.
Snell, J., Shaw, S., & Copland, F.
Vale de Almeida, M.
Vidal Soares, L.