Centre for Language Policy, Peacebuilding and Social Justice
What we do
The centre is involved in evidence-based language policy writing and implementation. Language is a fundamental human right, and the centre is committed to providing crucial advice and action assistance to ensure that language diveristy is mobilised for social justice rather than used to oppress difference
Our work to date
So far the centre has completed work focusing on language policy's role in peacebuilding and social cohesion in Sri Lanka, Scotland, Northern Ireland and South Africa. At present, the centre is working with UNICEF in Southeast Asia
The centre's work in Malaysia has focused on how to reconcile the government's policy of educating for national unity and providing adequate educational facilities and support for minority children. We have focused particularly on stateless children and those living on plantations in Sarawak and Sabah.
In Myanmar, the centre's work has focused on mother-tongue based multilingual education to enhance education for the country's extraordinary linguistic diversity. We have conducted facilitated dialogues to create 'bottom-up' consulatative policy that engages a wide group of community, government and NGO members.
In Thailand, the centre has focused on the Southern provinces, where violence and social discontent are an ever present reality. Our work has found, through audits and consultations, that Patani-Malay needs to be given regional status to alleviate tensions between the ethnic Thai and ethnic Malay populations. We have also made recommendations for the scaling up of bilingual education and the extension of intercultural learning for primary schools and secondary schools
The centre is continuingits work in Myanmar with a particular emphasis on ethnic states inside the union. We will focus on how these states use mother-tongue language of instruction in early learners and formulate consultative policy and implementation strategies for union wide application. As part of this effort to use mother-tongue learning as a tool for social cohesion and social justice the centre, in conjunction with UNICEF is running the inaugural International Conference on Language Policy and Multilingual Education in Myanmar in December, 2015.