Language Policies in Asian Countries: A Review

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Kiranmai P., P. V. Ravi Kumar


Many Asian countries are multilingual and multi-ethnic and have gained political and economic independence only in the last half of the century or before. Therefore, when formulating language policies, these countries have been confronted with similar issues though they have responded to their specific sociopolitical contexts in different ways. This paper outlines some of the major issues. One is the continued domination of English after gaining political and economic independence resulting from a complex interplay of endogenous as well as exogenous factors. The endogenous factors pertain to the need to balance the interests of social and political groups within the country whereas the exogenous factors pertain to globalization and the use of English as the lingua franca. Another major issue is the asymmetrical power relationship between those who have access to English and those who do not, both internationally and internationally.

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