[lg policy] Content of lg policy digest

E. Annamalai annamalai38 at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 1 18:14:08 UTC 2015


I archive myself the digests for my use. I was not aware that the archive is available with Linguist List. I suggest that this public archive may be made known to all members.
Annamalai

Sent from my iPad

> On Jan 1, 2015, at 11:43 AM, lgpolicy-list-request at groups.sas.upenn.edu wrote:
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> Today's Topics:
> 
>   1. Re: The Lgpolicy-list archives (Rakesh Bhatt)
>   2. India: Sanskrit teachers hoping for 'acche din' under    Modi
>      government (Harold Schiffman)
>   3. Sri Lanka: Global English and SL Election (Harold Schiffman)
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 11:06:50 -0600
> From: Rakesh Bhatt <rbhatt at illinois.edu>
> Subject: Re: [lg policy] The Lgpolicy-list archives
> To: Language Policy List <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>,    Harold
>    Schiffman <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
> Message-ID:
>    <CAJdM604hVXh6g1scUBjWMXeScXXvGHtypXeLxOV=Su5TbbtPYw at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> 
> Dear Hal,
> 
> I use the archives regularly, and as I have mentioned to you, in a personal
> email a while back.  I would like for it to continue, for ever.  It is an
> important resource for sociolinguists of all color and stripes.
> 
> All best,
> Rakesh
> 
> On Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 10:37 AM, Francis Hult <francis.hult at englund.lu.se>
> wrote:
> 
>> I use the archives.  Often I use them to find an interesting article
>> that I remember coming across the list and that I want to share with
>> someone after a topic comes up in conversation or class discussion.  I've
>> also used them to satisfy my curiosity about what has previously been
>> posted about a topic or context.  Regardless of how often people use them,
>> I'd also say that they are an important historical trace of the
>> representation of language policy and the sociology of language in the
>> media.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Francis
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> Francis M. Hult, Ph.D.
>> Associate Professor
>> Centre for Languages and Literature
>> Lund University
>> 
>> Web: http://www.sol.lu.se/en/sol/staff/FrancisHult/
>> 
>> Editor, Educational Linguistics book series
>> http://www.springer.com/series/5894
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> ------------------------------
>> *From:* lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu [
>> lgpolicy-list-bounces at groups.sas.upenn.edu] on behalf of Harold Schiffman
>> [hfsclpp at gmail.com]
>> *Sent:* Wednesday, December 31, 2014 17:18
>> *To:* lp
>> *Subject:* [lg policy] The Lgpolicy-list archives
>> 
>>     All:
>> 
>> A week or so ago I reported a problem with the archiving of our listserv's
>> messages, which was subsequently solved.  Access to our archives, which
>> is provided by Linguist-List, is fully available again.
>> 
>> After that, I sent a message intended to find out how useful our archives
>> actually *are*, since nobody reported the problem that I discovered.  But
>> so
>> far, *NO ONE* has reported to me that they actually find the archived
>> messages useful, or that they have used them for their research or
>> whatever.  Is this then the case?  The archives aren't used by anyone,
>> except me?
>> 
>> Please tell me it isn't so!
>> 
>> HS
>> 
>> --
>> **************************************
>> N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to its
>> members
>> and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner or
>> sponsor of the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who
>> disagree with a message are encouraged to post a rebuttal, and to write
>> directly to the original sender of any offensive message.  A copy of this
>> may be forwarded to this list as well.  (H. Schiffman, Moderator)
>> 
>> For more information about the lgpolicy-list, go to
>> https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/
>> listinfo/lgpolicy-list
>> *******************************************
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
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>> To manage your subscription unsubscribe, or arrange digest format:
>> https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/lgpolicy-list
> 
> 
> -- 
> Professor of Linguistics and SLATE
> Department of Linguistics
> The University of Illinois
> 4080 FLB, 707 S. Mathews Ave
> Urbana, IL 61801
> U.S.A.
> 
> Ph: 217-244-0676
> Fax: 217-244-8430
> 
> https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/rbhatt/www/index.html
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> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2015 11:37:51 -0500
> From: Harold Schiffman <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
> Subject: [lg policy] India: Sanskrit teachers hoping for 'acche din'
>    under    Modi government
> To: lp <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
> Message-ID:
>    <CAB7VSRCJuXq8dH2MAOn-B1HtDg+G-2X1PVnuEiiwooteDZzULw at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> 
> Ritika Chopra, ET Bureau Dec 31, 2014, 04.33AM IST
> 
>   - <http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/photo/45697380.cms>
> 
> (Experts, however, are skeptical…)
> 
> NEW DELHI: Deepak Kumar quit his job with a private school near Baghpat in
> Uttar Pradesh this year in search of greener pastures. "They paid me a
> salary of just Rs 8,000 every month," said the 32-year-old Sanskrit
> <http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/Sanskrit> teacher
> <http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/teacher> who moved to Delhi
> about three weeks ago, much against the wishes of his family, to prepare
> for an entrance test for teaching posts in the capital's government schools.
> 
> "It's a big risk. If I qualify, I will be eligible for a monthly salary of
> Rs 50,000," he said. But until that happens, his wife and daughter back
> home will have to survive on his family's modest income from farming, which
> also pays for his coaching and living expenses in Delhi. The uncertainty
> has been nerve-wracking for the family as job opportunities for Sanskrit
> teachers are few, he said.
> 
> Kumar, however, is not downhearted. "Mark my words. There are good days
> ahead for us," he said.
> 
> His optimism may not be misplaced. Kumar is just one of many teachers
> buoyed by the government's bid to replace German with Sanskrit as the third
> language in the Kendriya Vidyalayas in classes 6 to 8 in the middle of the
> academic year, sparking a controversy. They feel Sanskrit, after years of
> perceived neglect under Congress
> <http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/Congress> governments, might
> finally see some " acche din
> <http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/acche%20din>" (good days)
> under Prime
> Minister <http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/Prime%20Minister>
> Narendra Modi.
> 
> To some that means better career opportunities and to others, greater
> respect for the language. Pankaj Mishra, professor at Delhi University's
> Sanskrit department, is hoping the latter will be the case.
> 
> "For years now, there has been this discouraging mentality towards
> Sanskrit. It has perpetuated the image that Sanskrit scholars are only fit
> to become pundits. This attitude has been a huge blow for the language," he
> said. "My own daughter refused to opt for this language because she felt
> her friends would tease her for it. She is now studying French as the third
> language in Class VI."
> 
> For the likes of Kumar expecting better job prospects, good news has
> already started trickling it. This month, the Kendriya Vidyalayas, which
> admit the children of central government employees, announced the
> introduction of Sanskrit as an elective subject in classes 11 and 12 at the
> government's behest. Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas--residential government
> schools for bright children from rural areas--are also set to start
> teaching the language from the next academic session. "We are determined to
> include Sanskrit in our basket of third languages, provided the ministry
> approves it," Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) commissioner GS Bothyal told
> ET.
> 
> Although these two decisions could at most create just another 1,500 new
> jobs for Sanskrit teachers next year, they think this is a positive start
> and could spur private schools to follow suit. Even though the government
> has not issued any directions to this effect, human resource development
> ministry officials said private schools have no option but to follow the
> three-language formula, which prohibits the teaching of any foreign tongue
> as the third language and has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
> 
> This could mean that many private schools will soon start teaching Sanskrit
> along with several other Indian languages. "Look, if the government tells
> us that teaching a foreign language as a third language subject is
> unconstitutional, then I guess we can't do anything about it. But private
> schools will always protest any decision to make changes halfway through
> the session," said the principal of a private school in central Delhi who
> did not want to be identified.
> 
> Experts, however, are skeptical of government-driven revivalist efforts,
> noting that Sanskrit, even at its peak, was never a mass language, but
> primarily used for scholarly discourse. With difficult grammar rules, verb
> and noun construction, and more tenses than other tongues, learning the
> language can be intimidating. From 49,736 Sanskrit speakers in 1991, the
> number dwindled to 14,135 in 2001.
> 
> The government also needs to invest more in churning out quality Sanskrit
> teachers. For instance, in the last five years, not more 10% of the
> Sanskrit candidates appearing for the University Grant Commission's
> National Eligibility Test (NET) have cleared it in any given year. This is
> mandatory for teachers seeking jobs in universities.
> 
> Sushil Kumar, a research scholar in Delhi University, is sceptical about
> the demand-and-supply argument.
> 
> "It's a little absurd that we're talking about supply of teachers when
> there aren't any jobs for them. When you create job opportunities, the
> supply will also increase. I am surprised that we are debating this in
> India. If you can't find Sanskrit teachers here, then where will you find
> them? In US or Canada?" he said.
> 
> http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-12-31/news/57558475_1_sanskrit-teachers-sanskrit-scholars-third-language
> 
> 
> -- 
> **************************************
> N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to its
> members
> and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner or
> sponsor of the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who
> disagree with a message are encouraged to post a rebuttal, and to write
> directly to the original sender of any offensive message.  A copy of this
> may be forwarded to this list as well.  (H. Schiffman, Moderator)
> 
> For more information about the lgpolicy-list, go to
> https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/
> listinfo/lgpolicy-list
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> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2015 11:40:41 -0500
> From: Harold Schiffman <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
> Subject: [lg policy] Sri Lanka: Global English and SL Election
> To: lp <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
> Message-ID:
>    <CAB7VSRD7sGQZ8CUffbg5pR0sZMrK5G2_24Hmz4j9avyY0xWJiA at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> 
> Global English and SL Election
> Posted on December 31st, 2014 By Rohana R. Wasala
> 
> Courtesy *The Island*
> 
> In the modern society, education is meaningless without a good knowledge of
> at least one useful world language in addition to one’s mother tongue. For
> the majority of Sri Lankans, this means an indispensable knowledge of
> Sinhala or Tamil plus English. (The government’s praiseworthy target of a
> trilingual Sri Lanka is in excess of this barest minimum need.) Among
> nations in the world we are in an advantageous position in this respect
> because, for historical reasons, English is easily available to us, and in
> the form of Globish, it happens to be ‘the worldwide dialect of the third
> millennium’. This is an inestimable asset in a world where there is
> probably no country that does not pay special attention to the teaching of
> English.
> 
> The supremacy of English in our context as a world language is undisputed.
> Whatever is said and done, the commercial, political, military, cultural
> and other interactions of the English speaking peoples with other nations
> over the past few centuries have been such that English has emerged as the
> single most powerful common language of the world. It was the language of
> imperialism once, and is today the dominant language of global capitalism;
> it reigns supreme in every significant domain of human activity: science
> and technology, trade, communications, culture, politics, diplomacy,
> sports, and every other conceivable sphere.
> 
> Not long ago, linguists feared that English, being adopted by so many
> diverse nations of the world, would disintegrate into a multiplicity of
> mutually unintelligible dialects. But these fears are no more. Apparently,
> the era of ‘New Englishes’ is on its way out. The nations of the world have
> been brought closer together than ever before by constantly advancing
> communications technologies. In the highly globalized world of today where
> ‘There is no such thing as Abroad’, chances are few for the geographical
> isolation and other forms of barriers necessary for the evolution of New
> Englishes to develop as separate languages. The two universally dominant
> native dialects of English, British and American, have jointly morphed into
> ‘Globish’, which transcends national boundaries, and like any other dialect
> will go on evolving. Globish enables our students to interact with the
> outside world in many creative ways. It is the most widely used medium of
> the internet.  An overwhelming advantage that IT (information technology)
> confers on learners of  English in this context is that it puts it
> literally at their finger tips; easily exploitable resources abound in the
> internet for multimodal English instruction and practice (for free) for
> those interested. It is this invaluable linguistic resource that is within
> easy reach of all Sri Lankans.
> 
> An adequate knowledge of English is an essential component of the
> meaningful education that Sri Lankans of all economic, social and ethnic
> backgrounds desire. Development-oriented education must feature among the
> really substantive issues that should be raised by a serious opposition
> during the ongoing campaigning before the presidential election on January
> 8, 2015. Which  candidate offers the best prospects for the fulfillment of
> that desire is likely to be one of the questions that the informed voters
> would ask themselves in this election.
> 
> The mature Sri Lankan electorate can be expected to treat each major
> political party’s policy regarding the use of English as a significant
> factor to take notice of. This is irrespective of whether the matter is
> explicitly mentioned in the election manifestoes or is reflected in the
> conduct and utterances of the members of the various political parties or
> groupings. Fortunately, there is reason to believe (on the basis of
> campaign speeches heard during previous elections in the not too distant
> past) that generally representatives of all political factions agree about
> the crucial importance of English not only for education but for all other
> fields where linguistic communication matters including particularly
> interactions with foreign countries and international organizations.
> 
> The usefulness of English is a reality that even the nationalist pioneers
> of educational and language policy reforms unanimously recognized. Sri
> Lanka’s language planning endeavours started in the 1944-45 period  with
> the Kannangara reforms in the education field, that is, a few years before
> British rule ended in 1948. The vast majority of the population were
> discriminated against on the basis of language and religion during colonial
> times. Sinhala speaking Buddhists and Tamil speaking Hindus and Muslims
> were oppressed while the Westernized, English speaking Christian minority
> were accorded a privileged status. The Sinhalese Buddhist majority were the
> worst persecuted community during that time. The 1956 nationalist attempt
> to democratically put an end to centuries of language and religion-based
> discrimination against the Sinhalese Buddhist majority faced opposition
> from the ethnically mixed Westernized minority which had been privileged
> under colonial rule. Of course, most nationalist agitators for reform also
> came from the same class, as they had to. Critics of the changes introduced
> after the 1956 ‘revolution’ talk as if it was the beginning of ‘language
> politics’ in Sri Lanka, which it was not. If there were any anomalies in
> the new official language policies, they were rectified in subsequent
> legislation.
> 
> The post-1956 language policies have benefited the poor of all ethnic
> groups by making the achievement of equality of opportunity in employment
> as well as education more of a possibility. Of course, the dethronement of
> English in the government service may have negatively affected ethnic
> minorities which had earlier enjoyed certain advantages over the majority
> through English. But the pro-poor policies in education enabled more
> students from the poor classes irrespective of ethnicity to enter the
> university.
> 
> Before these changes, English was both imperial and imperious. Today, in
> Sri Lanka as elsewhere, it is neither imperial nor imperious, but merely
> utilitarian. In Robert McCrum’s words (Globish, 2011) ….the world’s English
> becomes the linguistic default position for the society that the journalist
> Thomas Friedman has described as ‘flat’.”, where ‘flat’ implicitly means
> ‘leveled through the use of the common medium of global English’ (my
> elucidation). It provides, in the global theatre, a level playing field in
> business as well as education.
> 
> The nationalists (to whom the main constituent party of the ruling alliance
> harks back) envisioned a flatter (in the above sense) and more just society
> through the restoration of the national languages to their due position of
> prominence. For the selfsame purpose they wanted English to be available as
> a second language to all the children of the country irrespective of their
> social and economic background (which was unheard of before), and took
> active steps towards that goal. But these pioneers (including Kannangara)
> have been always wrongly blamed for having allegedly deprived generations
> of Lankan school children of a good knowledge of English. That their
> successors failed to bring the original visionary plans to fruition was due
> to a number of factors, the major one of these being the absence of
> inspiring leadership that would have kept the long term visionary aims of
> the originators alive; another was that that politicians sacrificed
> national interest, as they often do, for political advantage.
> 
> The two decades from 1960 to 1980 saw the masses of swabhasha medium
> students possessed by a false sense of security (based on the erroneous
> notion that education through the mother tongue was adequate) that
> prevented them from making a serious attempt to learn English. Despite the
> well meant efforts of different governments to bolster up the state English
> language teaching programme, a rot set in from which there seemed to be no
> escape. While many failed to learn any English even though there was, as
> there always has been, an environment in the country conducive for learning
> English, the self-motivated few learned their English and improved their
> academic and employment prospects. With the introduction of liberalized
> economic policies and the emergence of opportunities for private education
> at home and abroad in the next decades, those sections of the population
> who could afford it got a chance to learn English outside the state school
> system. But the problem of little or no proficiency in English particularly
> among suburban and rural children remained. Critics of the promotion of
> national languages as mediums of education in place of English which had
> benefited only a small privileged minority felt vindicated. Certain
> politicians from the same class, who paid little attention to the noble
> aims of the initiators of swabhasha education or implicitly dismissed them
> with some contempt, adopted patchwork policies to remedy the situation.
> Though these were unavoidable in the circumstances, more forethought should
> have been exercised to prevent the recall of English from disadvantaging
> the poor while serving only the interests of the rich. The nationalist
> reformers always meant to bring justice for all, while restoring the rights
> of the long oppressed masses.
> 
> The Ten Year National Master Plan for a Trilingual Sri Lanka (2011-2020)
> launched as a presidential initiative is the largest, most ambitious,
> implementation-oriented language management exercise the country has ever
> had. While being in compliance with the vision of the early reformers it
> tries to address the language problem in a broader social and political
> context and from a more comprehensive perspective than before. A government
> can only formulate plans based on its policies and provide the finance
> necessary for their implementation. The successful implementation depends
> on the faithful fulfillment of their fiduciary obligations by the
> bureaucrats. There is no reason to believe that this is not happening.
> 
> I count this among the many development projects of the Mahinda Rajapakse
> government launched in the wake of the successful conclusion of the war.
> For these the government must be praised. The face of the country is
> changing for the better. Of course, there many shortfalls to be attended
> to. But there is no one else at the present time who can fix them other
> than Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa himself. The disorganized opposition’s exclusive
> focus on less urgent issues like nepotism, corruption, bad governance etc
> proves that it has no credible allegations against the government. The
> institution of the executive presidency facilitated the solution of the
> problem of separatist terrorism. The evil potential of that office has not
> been exhibited under the present incumbent. All indications are that the
> government is delivering on its promises in less than ideal circumstances.
> If it is only the West and their local stooges who have decided that there
> is a need for a regime change here at this juncture, it must be for their
> own benefit. The Sri Lankan public will be benefited only if they are
> allowed to elect or reject in freedom, by exercising their democratic right
> of the vote, the popular Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who is heading a performing
> government.
> 
> The third stage of the Mahinda Chintana manifesto Lowa dinana maga”  (On
> the road to global success) was launched at the BMICH on 23rd December.
> Like other countries in the world, rich or poor, Sri Lanka needs its youth
> to be proficient in the ‘worldwide dialect of the third millennium’ for
> achieving successful economic growth and for improving its international
> standing. It is this need that the ten year trilingual initiative mentioned
> above is designed to fulfill. The programme is soon entering its fifth
> year. It will be in the interest of the nation if it is allowed to run its
> course uninterrupted.
> 
> http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2014/12/31/global-english-and-sl-election/
> 
> 
> -- 
> **************************************
> N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to its
> members
> and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner or
> sponsor of the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who
> disagree with a message are encouraged to post a rebuttal, and to write
> directly to the original sender of any offensive message.  A copy of this
> may be forwarded to this list as well.  (H. Schiffman, Moderator)
> 
> For more information about the lgpolicy-list, go to
> https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/
> listinfo/lgpolicy-list
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