Orientations in language planning

Richard - Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1116 Scopus citations


Basic orientations toward language and its role in society influence the nature of language planning efforts in any particular context. Three such orientations are proposed in this paper language-as-problem, language-as-right, and language-as-resource. The first two currently compete for predominance in the international literature. While problem-solving has been the main activity of language planners from early on (language planning being an early and important aspect of social planning in ‘development’ contexts), rights-affirmation has gained in importance with the renewed emphasis on the protection of minority groups. The third orientation has received much less attention; it is proposed as vital to the interest of language planning in the United States. Bilingual education is considered in the framework of these orientations. Many of the problems of bilingual education programs in the United States arise because of the hostility and divisiveness inherent in the problem- and rights-orientations which generally underlie them. The development and elaboration of a language-resource orientation is seen as important for the integration of bilingual education into a responsible language policy for the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-34
Number of pages20
JournalNABE Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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