1986 paper on language planning

The Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania maintains working papers (papers in progress). Volume 2, Number 1 published in 1986 has a paper by Nancy Hornberger titled “Should Quechua Be Used in Puno’s Rural Schools?” (See also Quechua (que))

From the initial paragraph: “[This paper] considers the pros and cons of using Quechua in schools serving Quechua-speaking communities in highland Puno, Peru, from the point of view of its bearing on Quechua language maintenance.”

Three questions asked are:

  1. “Can language maintenance be planned?”
  2. “Can schools be agents for language maintenance?”
  3. “What would be required for the balance to be tipped in favor of Quechua language maintenance?”
Factors given that contribute to language decline are:
  • “the decreasing isolation of Quechua speakers”
  • “the low status and powerlessness of Quechua speakers”
  • “the low prestige and restricted use of the Quechua language”

One of the issues Hornberger discusses is domain usage. A domain is a setting in which language is used. Examples include the classroom, the telephone, television, and community meetings. One of the signs of a decline of a language is that the language is being used in fewer domains.

In conclusion, Hornberger states,

The situation in Puno…is not then so very different from other world contexts. In every case, what is needed for successful language maintenance planning and the effective use of schools as agents for language maintenance is: autonomy of the speech community in deciding about the use of languages in their schools and a societal context in which primary incentives exist for the use of one, two, or multiple languages in that and every other domain.

3 Responses to “1986 paper on language planning”

  1. Alexander Dietz Says:

    Regarding to Quechua, it is not too late, yet, to normalize Quechua in some areas. Catalans call “normalisació” the case that the regional language is again turned into the language used self-understandingly everywhere except for private usage between non-indigenous persons.
    In some Quechua areas, (public) signs in Quechua only and general bi-cultural education with Quechua as the very primary language would be suitable. In urban areas in the Andes, the choice between Quechua and Spanish as primary language within bicultural education would be useful.
    In the Andes States, I would give pupils the choice to learn a second amerind language or Portugese in addition to one amerind main language like Quechua or Aymará and Spanish.
    As in Ireland, an effecting movement to rise the prestige of Quechua would have to begin in urban centres by well-educated people. In Ireland, the main positive effects on the prestige of Irish came from educated people in Dublin, Belfast and to some extend in Cork in the last few decades.

    • wakablogger Says:

      I am not familiar with the situation there, but in many areas, whether you can receive an education is an issue. If an education system is in place and the children can go, Spanish is likely to be viewed as the means to a better life. If all of the jobs require Spanish fluency, then native languages are not considered to be important.

  2. Rajendran Says:

    I am a research scholar from India.my topic is ” Language Planning in Malayalam”.

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