The trajectory of a language policy
The First Language Maintenance and Development program in South Australia
This paper examines the development of the First Language Maintenance and Development (FLMD) program in South Australia. This program is the main language policy activity that specifically focuses on language maintenance in government primary schools and has existed since 1986. During this time, the program has evolved largely as the result of ad hoc changes, often resulting from decisions made outside the immediate scope of language maintenance provisions. The program was initially introduced as a general reform of language education in primary schools but eventually became a program focused specifically on language maintenance. The paper traces the ways that ad hoc changes have shaped the program, and how these have shaped the program over time. As a result of these changes over time, first language maintenance has moved from being an integrated focus within core language policy to being a peripheral language policy activity. As a result, although the FLMD represents an aspect of South Australia’s language policy, it does not have either a clear position within that policy nor does it have a clearly developed focus of its own.
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