Language Education Policy Studies
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Actors, Stakeholders, and Resources

In world language education planning and cultivation the question arises: who are the many actors and stakeholders? The answer is complex: some actors are ‘official’, or institutional policy makers; and other actors are group- society, community members- and individuals themselves. All are stakeholders as well- national frameworks, educational goals, and then how the outcomes affect individuals is a complex ecology to study and understand what is at stake.


Language in education policies are overt or covert and interpreted along the way by the many actors and stakeholders in a process. The actors are the speakers, teachers, educational institution administrators, policymakers, academics, researchers, community members, as well as institutional policymakers such as workplaces, businesses. All of these engage in actions that influence language choices, decision-making through official policies, writing or implementing standards, and reinforcing ideologies in language in education. These actors overlap with the stakeholders. The language speakers- as students in educational institutions or community members- are the ultimate stakeholders.


Furthermore, “resources” has a double meaning. First we can consider language as resource and not detach it from life and culture, as Indigenous certainly do (See World View) Second, the problem of material resources brings us to the debate over language vs. education- who and where should language domains be maintained or revived- schools or families and communities? (See Language Protection: How; Education, High Stakes Exams; Community Efforts.) It also brings up the question of Codification, and the debate over the need to write each language and design instructional materials and translations from all western concepts and particularly scientific knowledge. (See Codification, Knowledge Construction.)


The other stakeholders include human society and the planet. (See The Importance of LEPs.)


A few references:


Baldauf Jr, R.B. and Kaplan, R.B. (2003) Language policy decisions and power: Who arethe actors? In P.M. Ryan and R. Terborg (eds) Language: Issues of Inequality (pp. 19–37).

Bastardas-Boada, A. (2007). Linguistic sustainability for a multilingual humanity. Glossa. An Interdisciplinary Journal, 2(2).


Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2012). The stakes: Linguistic diversity, linguistic human rights and mother-tongue-based multilingual education- or linguistic genocide, crimes against humanity and an even faster destruction of biodiversity and our planet. In Forum International de Bamako sur de multilinguisme. “Un premiere etape vers un Sommet Mondial sur le Multilinguisme” Bamako, Mali, 19-21 janvier 2009. Actes du Forum. Bamako: African Union, ACALAN, Maaya, 65-78.


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This information was originally published on the website of the International Network for Language Education Policy Studies ( as

Harrison, K.M. (2013). Actors, Stakeholders, and Resources in Language Education Policy. In F. V. Tochon (Ed.), Language Education Policy Studies (online). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin—Madison. Retrieved from: (access date). 

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