Module Information

Module Identifier
IPM9520
Module Title
Language Policy and Planning in Wales Today
Academic Year
2016/2017
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
External Examiners
  • Dr Huw Dylan (Darlithydd - Coleg y Brenin Llundain)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2,000 word briefing report  40%
Semester Assessment 4,000 word essay  60%
Supplementary Exam 2,000 word briefing report  40%
Supplementary Exam 4,000 word essay  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Part 1 Introduction to language policy and planning

1. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts from the field of sociolinguistics.
2. Discuss in detail the process of language shift and the various social, political, economic and demographic factors that are identified as among its main drivers.
3. Critically evaluate different approaches to the discipline of language policy and planning, and in particular, how they relate to the specific objective of language revitalization.

Part 2 Understanding language shift in Wales

4. Discuss the particular manner in which the process of language shift has unfolded in Wales over the decades.
5. Critically evaluate the main factors influencing the current prospects of the Welsh language.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of the similarities and differences between the challenges facing Welsh language in Wales and those facing other minority languages in other parts of Europe.

Part 3 Language policy and planning in Wales today

7. Identify the main policy and legislative measures that are currently being implemented, at both the national and local levels, as part of the effort to maintain and revitalize the Welsh language.
8. Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these legislative and policy measures.
9. Discuss the significance of different revitalization measures with reference to general themes such as national and local governance, public administration, law and justice, civil rights, nation building and national identity.

Part 4 The political context

10. Evaluate the contribution of key civil society actors to the development of the current language revitalization effort.
11. Compare and contrast the manner in which Wales’s main political parties have approached the issue of language policy.
12. Reflect critically on the future direction of language policy in Wales, as well as the future of the Welsh language itself.

Brief description

The module will be divided into four sections. The first section will focus on general debates in the field of sociolinguistics, and its sub-field of language policy and planning, with the aim of introducing students to a variety of concepts and frameworks that will help them to analyze the particular approach to language policy that has developed in Wales over recent decades. The module will then move on to focus in detail on Wales and the Welsh language. The second section will explore the process of language shift as it has manifested itself in Wales. This will be done by considering the various social, political, economic and demographic factors that have influenced the fortunes of the Welsh language over the decades, and that continue to do so today. The third section will then go on to discuss and evaluate the various policy and legislative measures that are currently being implemented, at both the national and the local levels, in order to seek to maintain and revitalize the language. Prominent among these will be the Welsh Government’s National Welsh Language Strategy and Welsh-medium Education Strategy, and also the 2011 Welsh Language Measure. The module will conclude with a fourth section that considers the role of some of the key political actors that have contributed to the development of the current language revitalization effort. This will involve an evaluation of the contribution of prominent civil society organisations and also the contribution of Wales’s main political parties.

Aims

In general, the module aims to introduce students to a variety of useful sociolinguistic concepts and frameworks and then provide them with the opportunity to consider how these can be utilized to analyze and evaluate, in a systematic manner: i) the nature of the challenges facing a particular minority linguistic community; and ii) the nature of the policy and legislative steps that have been adopted by the state in response to these challenges.

Content

Part 1 Introduction to language policy and planning

1. Language and society
2. Understanding language shift
3. Planning for language revitalization

Part 2 Understanding language shift in Wales

4. The changing fortunes of Welsh over the centuries
5. The Welsh language today: the 2011 census and its implications
6. Wales and the Welsh language in comparative perspective

Part 3 Language policy and planning in Wales today

7. The Welsh Government’s language strategies
8. The 2011 Welsh Language measure and the Welsh Language Commissioner
9. Local language planning

Part 4 The political context

10. The ‘Welsh language movement’
11. The political parties and the Welsh language
12. The future of the Welsh language

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Students will also be required to submit their written assessments in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the module convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format, via the on-line platform Blackboard. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the preparation of two assessed pieces of written work will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and formulate an answer to the problem; reason logically; construct theoretical arguments; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing a range of information sources, including core academic texts.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module • Evaluate competing perspectives • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary social and political problems.
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. For many of the topics of this module, seminars will consist of small-group discussions where students will be asked to discuss as a group the core issues related to the seminar topic. These class discussions and debates form a significant part of the module, and will allow students to approach and examine a given topic through team work.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7