A sociocultural framework for language policy and planning
Since the early 1990s, language policy and planning (LPP) has undergone significant theoretical shifts in how it understands policy, concurrent with corresponding shifts in understandings of language, and particularly language use, more broadly. This paper draws on recent developments within linguistics that understand language from the perspective of Vygotskian sociocultural theory, and the role of language and other sociocultural artefacts in the mediation of human activity and social practice. The purpose of this discussion is to consider the potential of sociocultural theory as the basis for a broader meta-theoretical framework to understand the interrelationship between macro and micro analyses of policy and practice within LPP. The paper concludes with a consideration of the issues this raises for methodology in the study of LPP, as well as the implications for the practice of LPP itself.
Keywords: cultural-historical activity theory, Vygotsky, language policy, language planning, policy analysis, sociocultural theory
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