Paul Kei Matsuda

John Walsh, Friday January 29th, 1:30 PM

ASU’s Center for Indian Education & the Applied Linguistics Speaker Series Announces:


Dr. John Walsh

National University of Ireland, Galway & Fulbright Irish Language Scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz



Legislating for Irish:

The Strains between Policy & Ideology in a Minoritized Language


This presentation will combine perspectives from the language policy paradigm of sociolinguistics with those of language governance in order to consider current and future prospects for the Irish language. In contradistinction to top-down language planning  approaches, Spolsky (2004, 2008) argues that language policy comprises three inter-related components operating at various levels in society: language practices, language beliefs, and language management. The critical work of Shohamy (2006) elaborates this to include the overt and covert language policies pursued by institutions. Language    governance is emerging as a conceptual framework to explain the multitiered nature of language policy. Loughlin and Williams (2007) have argued that the situation of individual languages is influenced by the interaction of local, regional, national and international  actors, each seeking to achieve its own form of governance. Therefore, Walsh argues that   language policy as a concept  describes and analyzes often conflictual forces of language practices, beliefs, and management at various levels of society, from the local to the international. He bases his presentation on an ongoing study of Irish language policy, in particular the Official Languages Act of 2003. This legislation creates limited rights for Irish speakers and obliges Irish public bodies to gradually increase their  provision of services in Irish. Walsh describes ideologically-based conflicts about the provision of public services in Irish and relates them to the broader governance and policy framework, including the recent    publication of the Irish government’s long-awaited 20-Year National Strategy for Irish.


Dr. John Walsh is currently Fulbright Irish Language Scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Lecturer in the Department of Irish, School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the National University of Ireland, Galway. His Ph.D., awarded by Dublin City  University, examined the influence of the Irish language on Ireland’s socio-economic development. He is currently writing a book on this topic, to be published by Peter Lang in 2010. Dr. Walsh also holds a master’s degree in International Relations (Law, Politics, Economics) from Dublin City University and a BA in Irish and Welsh from the  University College Dublin. Before joining NUI Galway, he worked as a   lecturer in Irish at Dublin City University and with the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages in Brussels. He spent almost a decade as a journalist with Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ, and with the Irish language television station, TG4. His research interests are language policy, language legislation, the interface between language and socio-economic development, and minority language media.

Date: 01.29.2010                     Time: 1:30-2:30 P.M.                 Location:  Coor L1-10

Look for these Upcoming Talks:

 The C.A.L.L. event in February

Aya Matsuda

Toshiko Sugino

Thomas G. Bever

     And many more!

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Last update: January 6, 2008