Development of Appropriate Language Policies

Development of appropriate language policies

As defined by Kaplan and Baldauf (1997),

“A language policy is a body of ideas, laws, regulations, rules and practices intended to achieve the planned language change in the societies, group or system”. 

Language is an instrument through which people communicate with one another. There are several different languages even within a country itself which can create problems in communication. To avoid this from happening, language planning is necessary. Especially, for a nation with more than one language spoken, language planning becomes crucial by the government. A language is chosen to fulfill certain tasks and responsibilities in a society. 

Language policy is not only about language but also refers to the social, economic and political goals. It helps in understanding the aims and objectives of a specific language. 

The Development of Language Policy in India

The framework for governing the use of languages in India is the Official Languages Act, 1963, and the Official Language Rules, 1976. There are various state laws, as well as rules and regulations made by the central government and the states.

India is a multilingual society with different languages spoken everyday. According to the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, Hindi has been considered the official language of India since 1950. 22 languages have been selected as state languages as of May 2208. These are Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. 

The Importance and Purpose of Language Policy

  1. Language policies will help children to develop strong reading, writing and vocabulary skills which are necessary in school as well as later in life.
  2. It is essential for students to read and write in a language that they use and understand.
  3. It will help children to develop strong literacy skills.
  4. Language policy improves the quality of education.
  5. Children will understand the language spoken by their teacher and take in the information provided correctly.
  6. Language policy and planning are crucial to learning and improving children’s reading and writing.