[lg policy] Language Policy Scotland Network

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 12 15:27:27 UTC 2012

Language Policy Scotland Network

Language is part and parcel of our everyday lives. It is part of
social behaviour and like all social behaviour has an important impact
on our society.The aim of the LPSN is to create a platform which
focuses explicitly on language issues and which provides a forum for
academics, practitioners and policy makers to exchange ideas about
language needs, provision and policy in Scotland.

LPSN is led by Dr Bernie O’Rourke (Heriot-Watt University) and Dr
Wilson McLeod (University of Edinburgh) and is a working group within
the larger Public Policy Network (PPN) at Edinburgh University. The
network aims to meet a number of times during the year and would
communicate regularly via email. A programme of workshops, seminars
and meetings will be put in place based on suggestions from network

You can join the PPN general mailing list by contacting ppn at ed.ac.uk.
For issues regarding the Language Policy Scotland Network please
contact Bernie O’Rourke  at b.m.a.o’rourke at hw.ac.uk or Wilson McLeod
at w.mcleod at ed.ac.uk.


Language is part and parcel of our everyday lives. It is part of
social behaviour and like all social behaviour has important impact on
our society. Because it is so much part of who we are it is often
forgotten about when formulating explicit policies. Language is part
of everything we do and is therefore not an autonomous entity.
Changes in policy in a wide range of areas e.g. economic policy,
education policy, immigration policy can therefore have knock-on
effects in terms of linguistic impacts and thus form an important
aspect of language policy.

 There are about 100 languages spoken in Scotland today. While English
remains overwhelmingly dominant in social and institutional life,
Gaelic and Scots and, in a different way, British Sign Language have
been used in Scotland for centuries. Other language communities result
mainly from more recent immigration, including Asian language
communities established principally by post-war immigration and
languages of the European Union, much more strongly established given
tighter economic and cultural links.

 The network presents a valuable opportunity for inter-institutional
collaboration amongst academics, practitioners and policy makers to
collectively explore language policy and planning for Scotland. This
collaboration can draw more widely on international knowledge and
experience, established both through research work and institutional
linkages of different kinds.

What is the Language Policy Scotland Network?

This is an initiative led by Bernie O’Rourke and Wilson McLeod which
attempts to develop a dialogue between academics, practitioners and
policy makers on the theme of language. Our initial focus is to create
awareness of good practice, promote language provision, language
service and language rights through explicit language policies within
key institutions in Scotland and at various levels of Scottish
society. The aim of the network will be to encourage
inter-institutional and inter-disciplinary collaboration in order to
support and facilitate the formulation of such policies and to thereby
create opportunity for innovation and sharing of best practice.

The Network is a unique forum providing academics working on language
to exchange ideas and acquire new learning on language policy and
planning, current research and good practice models.

-       Create new dialogue

-       Adopt a collaborative and inclusive approach involving both
language and non-language specialists

-       Promote the formulation of language policies across private
and public sectors

-       Exchange ideas and acquire new learning on Language Policy and
Planning, current research on Language Policy and good practice models

-       Encourage and foster greater inter-institutional and
interdisciplinary collaboration e.g. Action Research Groups and

-       Organise CPD sessions, conferences/workshops, regular Network
meetings, workshops with specific focus on different areas where
language policy is applied e.g. teaching and learning of languages;
translation and interpreting services; minority language issues etc.

-       Raise profile/awareness of language-related issues

-       Develop, promote and disseminate models of good practice

-       Create sustainable networks and products e.g. publications,
materials, conference proceedings, online resources etc.

Proposed activities of the Language Policy Scotland Network

-       The network would meet several times during the year and would
communicate regularly via email.

-       A diverse programme of workshops/seminars

-       Podcasts, video and updates relating to these Network events
would be located at a webpage which we plan to set up.


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