By Joe Nicholas
This ebook significantly examines the heritage and perform of surveys of language range in British schooling. It additionally offers unique study and argument which investigates and debates the results due to surveying job and the participation of associations and groups. the writer argues that the strategies and results of such job have higher power for knowledge elevating and alter than formerly well-known.
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Extra info for Language Diversity Surveys As Agents of Change
In the absence of such participation by the speakers and users of the languages being researched upon, the exercise would stagnate in the old tradition of social anthropology where researchers from the Western World studied the social patterns, and speech behaviour of people in 'primitive' societies. (Alladina, 1985a) There are various dangers of tokenism in just 'doing a survey'. There are the dangers of tinkering with the issues, but not being able to follow through research and plans for change.
In summary, it is clear that language surveys cannot be separated from ideological concerns. What can be learnt from the history of language diversity surveying? If language diversity surveying activity is to continue in Britain, then there are opportunities to learn from the conduct of past surveys. There is < previous page page_40 next page > < previous page page_41 next page > Page 41 a need to involve people from the language communities themselves, and not just as interviewers or consultants.
Discussion As we have seen, language surveys and their methodology are problematic. It is also reasonable to conclude that there are major inaccuracies in the data and that, given the nature of the problems in survey procedure, these show significant underestimates of the use of other languages, in addition to English, in the populations surveyed. It is the intention in this final section to summarise, relate and extend the analysis of problems in the methodology and to conclude with some indications of the lessons to be learnt from the history of language diversity surveying.