Article published in:Culture, Contexts, and Communication in Multicultural Australia and New Zealand: An Introduction
Edited by Yunxia Zhu and Herbert Hildebrandt
[Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 17:1] 2007
► pp. 29–60
Australia’s “Asia competence” and the Uneasy Balance between Asian Languages and English
Australia’s policies on languages of the late 1980s were characterized by a balance between the community and broader needs of the nation on the one hand and European and Asian languages on the other. In a climate of ever stronger economic rationalism, globalization and shrinking resources these policies shifted to economic benefit arguments in the 1990s; community-based policies came under attack. European languages suffered more at first, but recently Asian languages have also been jeopardized. This raises several questions: Should Asian (and other) languages continue to be promoted for community or for national needs? Should there be an emphasis on English, the national language, and should migrants be incited to shift to it in light of the growing use of English worldwide and especially in the Asia-Pacific region? This paper explores different facets of the debate about policy and planning with regard to English and Asian languages and the political tension that links them.
Published online: 27 February 2007
Cited by other publications
Singh, Michael & Jinghe Han
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