Friday, 23 July 2010

Language Policy and Practice

As part of the Symposium: Commonwealth and the language challenge: identity, governance and global partnerships being held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies today there is a small exhibition in the Library (opposite Room NG12) of material from the collections on this topic.

Language policy is of increasing interest in the Commonwealth, with many bi-lingual and multi-lingual nations as members in both the 'old' and 'new' Commonwealth. For the Commonwealth organisation itself the introduction of new members such as Mozambique and Rwanda who were not British colonies means the role of language is a more important issue in its own operations.

Material on language policy can be found in the library by searching for subjects such as:
  • Language policy
  • Language and languages - Political aspects
  • Linguistic minotities - Civil rights
Surveys of language use will usually be found in the collection in HB, aloingside other statistical surveys and demographic reports, including censuses. Most material will be found under JL or JQ (Constitutional history and administration), and some other material in LB (Theory and practive of education) and P (Linguistics). Some material is also found in special collections, including the political pamphlets collection and some archive collections (in particular relating to language policy in South Africa). More general material can be found elsewhere in the Senate House Library.

The Library is always willing to help support seminars and conferences by offering tours, displays and presentations. Please do get in touch.

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