Upper Sorbian Language Policy in Education

Bringing the Language Back, or Bringing It Forward?


This book deals with the tension between a strategy of language maintenance (protecting and reinforcing the language where it is still spoken by community members) and a strategy of language revitalization (opening up access to the language to all interested people and encouraging new domains of its use). The case study presented concerns a grammar school in Upper Lusatia, which hosts the coexistence of a community of Upper Sorbian-speakers and a group of German native speakers who are learning Upper Sorbian at school. The tensions between these two groups studying at the same school are presented in this book against the background of various language strategies, practices and ideologies. The conflict of interests between the “traditional” community which perceives itself as the “guardians” of the minority language and its potential new speakers is played off on different levels by policy-makers and may be read through different levels of language policy and planning.

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Nicole Dołowy-Rybińska, Ph.D. (2010), University of Warsaw, Poland, is Professor at the Institute of Slavic Studies belonging to the Polish Academy of Sciences. Her main academic interests focus on minority language communities in Europe, ethnolinguistic vitality, language practices and revitalization efforts. She is the author of No One Will Do This For Us (Peter Lang, 2020) on minority language activism in Europe.
Academic institutions and researchers who run courses in linguistics, language revitalization, language policy in education, minority languages; academic and not academic audiences in Germany and Slavic countries; professionals and stakeholders involved in language policy in education.
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