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Title: The Janus face of monolingualism: a comparison of German and Australian language education policies
Contributor(s): Ellis, Elizabeth M  (author); Gogolin, Ingrid (author); Clyne, Michael (author)
Publication Date: 2010
DOI: 10.1080/14664208.2010.550544
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Abstract: Germany and Australia are examples of countries characterised by a tension between their plurilingual populations and their monolingual mindsets. This paper sets out to make a comparison between policy and practice in language and education in Germany and Australia, first outlining the link between the nineteenth-century development of the ideology of the nation-state and beliefs in the importance of a single language as a key feature of a strong nation. We use Gogolin's notion of a language hierarchy to illustrate the status and position of different categories of language in each country. Hence, we begin by interrogating the concept of a national language in each site, and then secondly we look at policy, practices and attitudes to foreign languages, characterised as those taught as subjects in schools. The third and most problematic position on the hierarchy is that of languages of the community. In Germany, these are autochthonous minority languages, immigrant languages and immigrant ethnolects. In Australia, they are Indigenous languages and Kriols, Aboriginal English, immigrant languages and immigrant ethnolects. This paper then discusses the positive and negative aspects of each country's language policy. We argue that by analysing how unexamined monolingual perspectives are played out in very different contexts, we can contribute to more enlightened thinking about the plurilingual potential of nations with multilingual populations.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Current Issues in Language Planning, 11(4), p. 439-460
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1747-7506
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 200401 Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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