While macro-level language policy and planning (LPP) that is done mainly by governments still dominates thinking in the field, limitations of this focus have been demonstrated by recent broader and more focused conceptualizations of LPP. For instance, global LPP, particularly for languages of wider communication such as English, has received considerable attention. Similarly, studies of meso- and micro-level planning has shown that many LPP decisions have to be taken at sub-national institutional, communal and familial levels, particularly in contexts where macro-level policies do not exist, where non-interventionist policies of benign neglect are deemed appropriate from a political point of view, or where a problem is too small to attract national attention. These recent developments have led to additions to the macro-level LPP framework, providing more appropriate and contextually relevant tools to understand LPP efforts carried out by LPP “actors” both within and beyond individual polities. However, this diversification of LPP frames and contexts can also be seen as going through a process of simultaneous unification and taking a macro-like character, as illustrated by the distinctions being drawn between the public and the private sector LPP. Taking Bangladesh as a case and drawing on LPP issues pertaining to public and private universities as well as pre-tertiary educational institutions with a particular focus on medium of instruction and the private tutoring industry, we argue for the relevance of this macro-like distinction for a better understanding of complex LPP issues in the country. We maintain that the public-private domain distinction may complement existing variables by adding a dimension that is increasingly becoming important in a globalized world dominated by neoliberalism.
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