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Title: Balancing Macro- and Micro-Sociolinguistic Perspectives in Language Management: The Case of Singapore
Authors: Kuo, E.C.Y. 
Jernudd, B.H. 
Issue Date: 1993
Citation: Kuo, E.C.Y., Jernudd, B.H. (1993). Balancing Macro- and Micro-Sociolinguistic Perspectives in Language Management: The Case of Singapore. Language Problems and Language Planning 17 (1) : 1-21. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Macro- & microsociolinguistic perspectives are used to explain national language management in Singapore. Macrolevel language planning is centered on government programs that try to foster national consolidation, through tasks of socioethnic integration & economic development. Microlevel language planning is focused on exploring the link between individual conduct in discourse & group behavior in communication. Macro & micro methods are found to be complementary. Due to its multiethnic & multilingual nature, Singapore is faced with two important language-related issues: communicative integration & the development of a new national identity to encourage economic, social, & cultural advancement. The current policy is pragmatic multilingualism that includes four languages. Out of those, English is regarded as the "neutral" language to express the emerging "supraethnic identity." A multilingual policy was implemented by the government in the national educational & communication systems, with English as the working language. The Singaporean government is also concerned with teaching internationally adequate forms of English & Mandarin Chinese because a vernacular form of English has arisen & many dialects of Chinese are currently spoken. In Singapore, language diversity is understood to prevent the creation of a national identity, & to decrease administrative & economic efficiency; the government is therefore working on a macrolevel to solve multilingual problems, but it is suggested that microlevel issues need more emphasis in order to create a balanced approach to nation-building.
Source Title: Language Problems and Language Planning
ISSN: 02722690
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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