About this book
‘This volume is an ambitious undertaking, fruit of meticulous research and deep reflection. Professor Kamwangamalu’s panoramic assessment of language planning, economics and game theory in colonial, post-colonial and globalised sub-Saharan African settings brilliantly deploys notions of ‘prestige planning’ to recurring dilemmas about the choices of medium of instruction in schooling and language choices in public and private institutions. This volume is groundbreaking theoretically and methodologically, but remains grounded in the real world needs of diverse African communities in their unique historical experiences of colonialism and their modern trajectories in an increasingly interlinked world. Professor Kamwangamalu’s reinvigoration of the framework of ‘prestige’ in language and how it can be activated adds great practical value to his impressive scholarly achievement.’
—Joseph Lo Bianco, Professor, The University of Melbourne, Australia
This book addresses the perennial question of how to promote Africa’s indigenous languages as medium of instruction in educational systems. Breaking with the traditional approach to the continent’s language question by focusing on the often overlooked issue of the link between African languages and economic development, Language Policy and Economics considers African languages an integral part of a nation’s socio-political and economic development. Therefore, the book argues that any language policy designed to promote these languages in such higher domains as the educational system in particular must have economic advantages if the intent is to succeed, and proposes Prestige Planning as the way to address this issue. The proposition is a welcome break away from language policies which pay lip-service to the empowerment of African languages while, by default, strengthening the stranglehold of imported European languages.
Nkonko M. Kamwangamalu is Professor of Linguistics at Howard University, Washington, DC. He is co-Editor of Current Issues in Language Planning, author of The Language Situation in South Africa (2004), of articles in Chicago Linguistic Society, Georgetown Round Table on Languages and Linguistics, Multilingua, Applied Linguistics, Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, World Englishes, Language Problems and Language Planning, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Journal of Creative Communications, Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, TESOL Quarterly, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, to name a few, and of chapters in edited collections.