A mind-boggling, head-banging decision? Popular language policy discourses in East Timor

Paper


Taylor-Leech, Kerry. 2007. "A mind-boggling, head-banging decision? Popular language policy discourses in East Timor." ALAA 2007: Making a Difference - Challenges for Applied Linguistics. Wollongong, Australia 01 - 03 Jul 2007 Melbourne, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

A mind-boggling, head-banging decision? Popular language policy discourses in East Timor

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorTaylor-Leech, Kerry
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the 32nd Annual Congress of the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia (ALAA 2007)
Year2007
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
Conference/EventALAA 2007: Making a Difference - Challenges for Applied Linguistics
Event Details
ALAA 2007: Making a Difference - Challenges for Applied Linguistics
Event Date
01 to end of 03 Jul 2007
Event Location
Wollongong, Australia
Abstract

In this presentation I describe findings from my doctoral research into language policy and planning in East Timor. I briefly describe the language situation and the language problems, which in many respects are typical of the classic problems facing multilingual polities in the developing world. In other respects, however, language politics and ideologies in Timor-Leste are the unique product of its colonisation by two sharply contrasting, hegemonic powers, Portugal and Indonesia. Another complicating factor is the presence of Australia and the United Nations, which have played an active role in promoting English in a situation where the National Constitution of 2002 designated Portuguese and the national indigenous lingua franca, Tetum, as co-official languages, with English and Indonesian as working languages 'for as long as is deemed necessary.' Each language has its own set of associations and political overtones and there is strong competition between them. I present and discuss my findings from semi-structured interviews and focus groups which explored the relationship between language policy, language dispositions and identity. I assess their congruence with the current official discourses of language policy and planning in East Timor. The findings show that there is less hostility to language policy than might be expected if one were to believe the Australian press.

KeywordsEast Timor; Australia; language policy; discourses
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470401. Applied linguistics and educational linguistics
470411. Sociolinguistics
440105. Linguistic anthropology
Public Notes

Abstract only held.

Byline AffiliationsGriffith University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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