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French in and out of France

Language Policies, Intercultural Antagonisms and Dialogue

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Edited By Kamal Salhi

This book examines policy planning and implementation and language variation in the realm of intercultural communication in France, Europe, the Americas, Australia, North and Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. The book aims to discern trends in the development of the capacity of Francophone speakers to engage in dialogue across linguistic boundaries. Each study in the volume seeks to evaluate and analyse the antagonistic situations that have resulted from colonial culture and the post-independence hegemonic cultures. These situations are investigated through their expression in the French language and the languages with which it coexists in the countries considered here. The expertise of linguists and language specialists in this volume provides formalist and structural insights and an innovative phenomenology of language and newly available quantitative and qualitative studies of synchronic language. These methodologies are applied to a wide range of subject areas: law, history, literature, politics and society. Taken as a whole the book offers a fresh perspective on the issues surrounding French within and beyond France in the post-colonial and Francophone contexts.

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Peter Brown, Chantal Crozet, Tony Liddicoat and Louise Maurer - French in Australia: Policies and Practices 265

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PETER BROWN, CHANTAL CROZET, TONY LIDDICOAT AND LOUISE MAURER French in Australia: Policies and Practices Australia has been very active in its development of language policy documents, with numerous reports and policy statements appearing al- most on an annual basis since the first official languages policy was adopted in 1987. While none of the policies deals explicitly with French, the place of French in Australian education can be ascertained by ex- amining these documents. In order to understand the place of French (and of languages in general) in Australian education, it is necessary to examine some of the history that led to the development of the nation's first languages' policy. An examination of early government documents relating to educa- tion shows a rather suspicious view of languages, and from about 1870, when the colonial governments began to involve themselves in education, the main emphasis appears to have been placed on restricting their study. 1 Within this context, French fared quite well. Having transported its prestige in Britain to the Australian colonies, French was one of the most widely taught of the small number of languages available in nineteenth- century Australia, with Latin and German also having a strong presence. The restrictions on languages in the public domain were continued and strengthened during the period following the First World War. Lim- itations placed on the use of foreign languages in the press during wartime persisted long after 1918 and, in some cases, survived until the 1970s, with even 'community' languages being...

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