Module Information

Module Identifier
WEM0720
Module Title
Language revitalisation in a global context
Academic Year
2024/2025
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
As versions of this course will be taught at levels 2, 3 and M, students will only be permitted to do one of these versions.
Reading List

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Presentation  Each student will be asked to give a presentation on an aspect of language revtiatlisation. Topics are to be confirmed with the lecturer in advance. 15 Minutes  40%
Semester Assessment Written assignment  A written assignment based on the material covered in this course. 4000 Words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Presentation  Each student will be asked to give a presentation on an aspect of language revtiatlisation. Topics are to be confirmed with the lecturer in advance. 15 Minutes  40%
Supplementary Assessment Written assignment  A written assignment based on the material covered in this course. 4000 Words  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate a deep critical understanding of the key principles associated with efforts to reverse language shift

Demonstrate a deep level of critical engagement with contemporary debates in language revitalisation scholarship

Express an advanced knowledge of the historical patterns typically responsible for driving language minoritisation, as well as important differences visible between the case studies examined

Offer a deep critical appraisal of the steps commonly recommended for the preparation and implementation of language revitalisation plans, with reference to various critiques of these approaches

Brief description

This module will introduce students to the main theories and debates in the field of language planning and policy, with particular focus on language loss and revitalisation. The principles discussed are not only of great relevance to contemporary Wales, but to threatened language communities all over the world.

Students will learn what is meant by concepts like “language death”, “linguistic justice” and “diglossia”, as well as how and why language shift takes place and what can be done to reverse this process.

In addition to gaining an understanding of such key issues, a range of case studies will be examined, including examples such as the Basque Country, New Zealand, indigenous languages in North America, etc.

Aims

To provide students with an understanding of key aspects of language revitalisation policy and to introduce them to some examples of good practice from various cases around the world.

Content

Each week an initial lecture will give students an overview of that week's material, which will then be discussed in more detail in a subsequent seminar. These lectures and seminars will initially provide an introduction to key concepts in language planning, before going on to exam various international case studies and discuss how various policy areas are relevant to this area. Included here will be topics such as

The link between language revitalisation and sustainable development
Developing an economy that supports threatened languages
The importance of minority language media
The roll (and limitations) of the education system
The relevance of “new speakers”, those who learn the target language as adults
Common approaches and methodology used to develop language revitalisation plans
Examples of successful interventions used around the world, such as the “master-apprentice programme” or “language nests”
Corpus planning – ensuring terminology for modern concepts is developed in our languages

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Adaptability and resilience This module will help students further develop their time and workload management skills, and give them additional experience at undertaking independent research.
Co-ordinating with others Students will work in small groups to come up with creative responses to various example problems relating to language policy.
Creative Problem Solving Students will be asked to respond to the challenges facing various linguistic minorities and to undertake independent research for class discussions and essays.
Critical and analytical thinking Analysing the needs of threatened linguistic communities will be a key skill taught in this module. Students will also be expected to critically engage with contemporary debates in language revitalisation.
Digital capability Students will make use of a number of Digital Humanities resources, including databases of text and video.
Professional communication Students will be required to contribute to discussions in class and to present their thoughts in writing and orally.
Real world sense This module will develop a skill set which aligns with the most pressing needs of imperilled language communities. In addition to examining examples of best practice from language revitalisation movements around the world, students will learn about the need for language planners to effectively prioritise the types of policy interventions most urgently needed in a threatened language community.
Reflection Students will reflect on feedback from the lecturer and on commentary from their peers during group discussions, and to analyse specific texts and case studies.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7