Request for references on Implementation

Dr.Rahman dr.trahman at
Wed Jan 1 07:59:54 UTC 1997

Dear Colleague,
I do not know if you need material on language policy and implementation in Pakistan but if you do you might read my books.
1. Language and Politics in Pakistan (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1996. Reprint 2003)
2. Language, Ideology and Power: Language-learning among the Muslims of Pakistan and North India (Karachi: Oxford UP, 2002).
I have also published in journals but most of these are American or British journals so they should be available in good libraries.
Yours sicnerely,
Tariq Rahman Ph.D
National Distinguished Professor
Quaid-i-Azam University
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Joe Lo Bianco 
  To: lgpolicy-list at 
  Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2004 8:38 AM
  Subject: Re: Request for references on Implementation


  Hi.   The following may not be easy to obtain but is exactly the kind of this you are after. It is from Sri Lanka and focuses on the (in truth very poor) measures for the implementation of Tamil language measures, often intended as "remediation" or "amelioration" for harsh laws like the 1956 Official Sinhala Act.

  Dharmadasa, K.N.O., (1996) (ed) National Language Policy in Sri Lanka, 1956 to 1996.  Three Studies in its Implementation.  Kandy: International Center for Ethnic Studies. 
  Also relevant, and possibly easier to get hold of,  is;
  Theva-Rajan, A. (1998) (2nd edition) Tamil as Official Language, Retrospect and Prospect.  Colombo: International Center for Ethnic Studies, but this is not so precisely an evaluation of implementation, though it does comment on this.

  I have copies if you cannot obtain them otherwise.  Also relevant is Australian Policy Activism in Language and Literacy, Lo Bianco and Wickert 2001 analyses the implementation of language policy in Australia. 

  I don't think poor or bad implementations is just a problem of technique or method or bad administration however. You don't have to be too cynical to think that it is sometimes (perhaps often) a reflection of myopia, or that politicians make concessions to minorities that bureaucrats and others in entrenched positions do not share and therefore undermine.  This is not necessarily deliberate, or even conscious, though it sometimes is both.  Often it arises, in my experience, from a "monolingual habitus" (can't remember whose term that is, probably Bourdieu).  Though we don't want to let them off too lightly!  Regards Joe

  At 11:45 PM 23/04/2004, you wrote:

    There is a first time for everything, and this is the first time I'm
    asking members of this list to give me some references.  I have been
    working on an article recently on some issues concerning language policy
    implementation, and can't find much that is said about it except to define
    it.  There are three articles in Cobarrubias and Fishman 1983, one by
    Haugen (on corpus planning), another by Barnes (on China) and a third by
    Lewis (on the USSR), but beyond this I'm stumped.

    I (and others of course, too) have always held that implementation is the
    "Achilles' Heel" of language policy and planning, i.e. the weakest link,
    and that many failures of policy are due to poor implementation, not poor
    planning (unless we include poor implementation-planning in planning).

    Can anyone refer me to other specific analyses of failures of
    implementation, i.e. detailed studies of how a particular language policy
    failed to achieve its objectives because of failure to carry out the
    implementation of it?  Or, studies of exemplary implementation, which led
    to great successes in the plan?

    Here is the definition of implementation that I am working with,
    constructed from various people's statements about it:

    "Implementation in language policy consists of the measures (plans,
    strategies, timetables, mechanisms) that provide the authoritative
    backbone (including financial rewards and resources) to achieve the goals
    of the language policy, and the motivation for the use of the language of
    the policy by the people affected."

    Thanks very much in advance for any help people can offer.

    Hal Schiffman

                              Harold F. Schiffman

    Professor of Dravidian Linguistics and Culture                       Director
    Dept. of South Asia Studies                     Pedagogical Materials Project,
    3624 Market Street, Box 2615               South Asia Language Resource Center

                            University of Pennsylvania
                            Philadelphia, PA 19104-2615

                            Phone:  (215) 898-5825
                            Fax:  (215) 573-2138

                            Email:  haroldfs at


  Joseph Lo Bianco

  Professor of Language and Literacy Education
  LLAE, Faculty of Education
  The University of Melbourne
  3010 VIC   Australia

  Tel:    03 8344 8346
  Fax:    03 8344 8612
  Mob: 0407 798 978
  Email: j.lobianco at 

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