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The Language Management Approach

A Focus on Research Methodology

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Edited By Lisa Fairbrother, Jiří Nekvapil and Marián Sloboda

The chapters in this volume reflect the variety of methods that researchers have recently applied in their investigations of "behavior toward language", or language management. The innovative methods introduced in the volume will appeal to researchers interested in different types of introspective interview methodology and discourse analysis, and to those looking for ways of linking language policy to everyday social interactions. The broad spectrum of themes taken up by the authors include the practices of language cultivation agencies, the use of first and second languages in educational contexts, attitudes toward language varieties, the use of language in immigrant communities, and the processes underlying literary criticism.

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The struggle to promote an African language at a South African university: A language management perspective (Stephanie Rudwick)

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Stephanie Rudwick

The struggle to promote an African language at a South African university: A language management perspective

Abstract This chapter examines the power dynamics between English and Zulu at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa from the perspective of Language Management Theory. In this country, the language of instruction in the education system has been a primary area of debate for a number of years. English maintains an unrivalled position on practically all levels of the education system, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of South Africans (roughly 90%) do not speak the language as a mother tongue. Recently, however, some tertiary institutions, such as UKZN, have started to promote an African language, in this case Zulu, as a Language of Learning and Teaching. In the first part of the chapter, I discuss the UKZN language policy of English-Zulu bilingualism as an instance of organized macro-management from the perspective of Language Management Theory. In the empirical part of the chapter, I analyse how far the official language policy reflects micro-level language management practices. Qualitative interviews and focus group discussions with Zulu students, as well as ethnographic observations, provide the dataset for this analysis. The findings suggest that there is virtual consensus among Zulu students at UKZN that the bilingual policy gives long-deserved recognition to Zulu and will contribute to more balanced socio-ethnic relations and power dynamics among the university constituency. However, when it comes down to actively supporting the...

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