The futility of being held captive by language policy issues in applied linguistics: an argument for implementation

  • Sinfree Makoni


Some South African Applied Linguists and political language activists are currently operating in a policy mode. This paper argues that the continued interest in and preoccupation with language policy issues arises from an interplay of two factors: (I) Overconfidence in the role that a new language policy could play in effecting change particularly in education (2) Overcorifidence in the beneficial impact of innovations. The paper also argues that trust in the effectiveness of language policy is misplaced because many language problems cannot readily be solved by planning unless detailed attention is paid to what is necessary for policy to be implemented and evaluated. The paper concludes by proposing how such detailed implementation could be carried out. Party Suid-Afrikaanse toegepaste taalwetenskaplikes en politieke taalaktiviste werk tans in 'n beleidsmodus. In hierdie referaat word aangevoer dat die volgehoue belangstelling en preokkupasie met taalbeleidsake voortspruit uit die wisselwerking van twee faktore: (I) Oormatige vertroue in die rol wat 'n nuwe taalbeleid kan speel om verandering te bewerkstellig, vera! in die opvoedkunde (2) Oormatige vertroue in die voordelige impak van nuwighede. In hierdie referaat word oak aangevoer dat die vertroue in die effektiwiteit van taalbeleid misplaas is omdat baie taalprobleme nie geredelik deur beplanning opgelos kan word nie, behalwe as gedetailleerde aandag gegee word aan dit wat nodig is om 'n beleid te implementeer en te evalueer. Die referaat word afgesluit met voorstelle oar hoe hierdie gedetailleerde implementasie uitgevoer kan word.