Language Planning in Multilingual Contexts

Policies, communities, and schools in Luxembourg

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This volume examines the sociocultural factors that influence language choices and uses in the multilingual country of Luxembourg. Patterns of language use within and across communities are viewed in terms of interrelationships among language policy intent, implementation, and experience. The study considers the ways in which the language and social experiences within low socioeconomic communities differ from school expectations and how these differences affect achievement of both individual and government goals. A history of past language policies and practices sets the background for recent policy formation and current language uses and values. An investigation of the roles of reading, writing and speaking within school settings illustrates policy implementation and individual usage. The ways in which policy is experienced is described in terms of the number and extent of language functions within communities. The nature of language experience is reflected in ethnographic descriptions of the roles language and literacy abilities play in social life. These descriptions are presented in terms of patterns of language use across socioeconomic groups and through composite case studies of three families representing upper, middle and lower class backgrounds. Community and school language behaviors are then compared across socioeconomic groups through an analysis of the degree of congruence between reading, writing, and speaking functions outside of the school and the in-school norms and methods of language instruction. The study further explores the practical and theoretical implications of the relationships among policy intent, implementation, and experience in the context of socioeconomic transitions in modern multilingual nations.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; Applied linguistics; Bilingualism

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