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Qualitative Research in Language Planning and Policy

  1. Mark Payne

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0980

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Payne, M. 2012. Qualitative Research in Language Planning and Policy. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


A clear and all-encompassing definition of language planning (LP) remains elusive. A working definition used by this author, taken from Joshua Fishman, is: “the organized pursuit of solutions to language problems, typically at the national level” (Fishman, 1974, p. 79). This definition is included among Robert Cooper's selected 13 definitions of a field that embraces both the societal focus in LP (status planning) and inherently linguistic matters (corpus planning), and ranges across a spectrum from national to local LP (Cooper, 1996). As Kaplan and Baldauf point out, LP is usually deliberate, governmentally driven, future orientated action designed to bring about changes in linguistic behavior (Kaplan & Baldauf, 1997). For example, a number of LP studies have influenced change in terms of national policies, such as Lo Bianco's work on the Australian National Policy on Languages which sought to develop a nationally coordinated language policy (Lo Bianco, 1987) or Tuin and Westhoff's work evaluating the foreign language capacity of the Dutch population in the Dutch National Action Programme (Tuin & Westhoff, 1997).


  • language planning;
  • language policy;
  • research methods in applied linguistics