Language Education Policy Studies
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The Importance of Language Education Policy

     This website explores the roles and realities, potential or actual, of Policies in Language and Education and how these contribute to dignity, justice, and peace. Such attempt is transdisciplinary, meaning the purpose is to unify and connect fields or disciplines of knowledge and expertise. The hope is to simplify, make accessible, and contribute to finding a unity of principles around language, education, and the different disciplines and fields; in the pursuit of dignity and prosperity, as well as sustainability, for much of the population of the Earth as well as the Earth itself.

    The current world order is dominated by neoliberal thinking, a dismantling of state and structural supports in place of privatization and markets. People, communities, languages, schools, nations, regions, religions, natural resources, and species are all subject to these forces. The Earth is but one realm or one world, but it is the world in which we live now. Most people’s and species’ livelihoods are marginalized and threatened. Instead of deep values and harmony, there is discrimination that leads to ideological, symbolic, psychological and physical violence, marginalization, poverty and hunger.


     The majority of languages are fragile; and language shift on a grand scale is occurring. Education and language, particularly English, play key roles and can disguise inequalities and violence. International institutional rankings, powerful forces and violence create inequalities in the ‘market’ and are tied to language, English, policy, and schooling. Multilingual, Deep Education is possible and would allow languages and ways of life to thrive and contribute to a better world. (See Deep Education, Multilingual Education.)


     The study of Policy and Policy processes is complex and challenging but must be addressed. It includes ideology and assumptions. The 21st century version of Globalization sees more migration, more inequalities, cultural loss and resource depletion on a very large scale, along with the immanent disappearance of most languages, often through education. Yet, the problem and principles to support change can be simplified.

(See 21st Century Forces)


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


Laszlo, E. (2008). Quantum Shift in the Global Brain: How the New Scientific Reality Can Change Us and Our World. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.


Max-Need, M. (2004). Foundations of transdisciplinarity. Accessed at


Morin, E. a. (1999). Our Earth-Centered Goals. In Homeland Earth. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.


Morin, E., & Kern, A. B. (1999). The Earth in Crisis. In Homeland Earth. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press


Nicolescu, B. (2002). Manifesto of Transdisciplinarity. State University of New York.


Norgaard, R. B. (2001). Possibilities after Progress. In L. Maffi (Ed.), On Biocultural Diversity: linking language, knowledge, and the environment. Washington: Smithsonian Institution.


Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2009). Multilingual Education for Global Justice: Issues, Approaches, Opportunities. In T. Skutnabb-Kangas, R. Phillipson, A. K. Mohanty, & M. Panda (Eds.), Social Justice through Multilingual Education (pp. 36-62). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. 

Tochon, F.  (2010). Deep Education. Journal for Educators, Teachers and Trainers , 1, 1-12. Retrieved from


This web page has a copyright. It may be referred to and quoted, or reproduced and distributed for educational purposes according to fair use legislation only if the following citation is included in the document:

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

Harrison, K.M. (2013). The Importance of 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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