Language, Policy and Planning Research Unit
The Language, Policy and Planning Research Unit (LPPRU) was created early in 2005 to formalise the long established research interest within the School of Welsh in the fields of language policy analysis, development of new methodologies and behavioural studies.
The Unit aims to be at the leading edge in national and international language-planning developments. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the social, economic and environmental implications of language over both time and space. The Unit's work ranges in geographic scale from the local to the global whilst the full spectrum of quantitative and qualitative research techniques is deployed.
The LPPRU is an interdisciplinary unit that:
- undertakes research on language policy and planning issues
- supervises and teaches at MA, MPhil and PhD level
- fosters university-wide networks and outreach work within the international policy community
Our research is organised around six themes:
- the Welsh language
- language politics, activism and conflict resolution
- language rights and status
- language policy, governance and the State
- linguistic diversity and multiculturalism
- behaviour change.
Staff research (highlights)
Professor Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost
Research monograph entitled The Welsh Language Commissioner in Context: Roles, Methods and Relationships, arising from the unit’s recent ESRC sponsored project on language commissioner.
Reviews for Professor Mac Giolla Chríost's monograph:
"A key question in language policy is the effectiveness of central management. In this book, a pioneering and highly documented account of the role of the Welsh Language Commissioner in attempting to regulate the statutory provisions of recent legislation concerning the language, the author has provided a balanced account of the complexities of the process and the many competing interests involved."
Emeritus Professor Bernard Spolsky, Bar-Ilan University.
"This detailed, scholarly and robust examination of the role of the Welsh Language Commissioner is essential reading for anyone with an interest in language rights, democratic scrutiny and law-making in Wales. Drawing on comparative research, the author casts a sharp and critical eye on one of the principal achievements of the Welsh legislature since its inception, and confronts misconceptions and false precepts with ruthless precision. In particular, this book exposes the potentially conflicting demands made of the Welsh Language Commissioner in fulfilling a regulatory role within the constitutional and legislative terms of reference, and championing the demands and expectations of the Welsh-speaking community. A paragon of policy analysis, it provides anyone with an interest in the maturing of Welsh democracy with a valuable but cautionary tale."
Professor R. Gwynedd Parry, Swansea University.
"In this extremely timely volume Diarmait Mac Giolla Chriost provides a detailed and systematic analysis of the Office of the Welsh Language Commissioner, as well other key aspects of the 2011 Welsh Language Measure. It includes numerous insights that should be of interest to academic researchers working in the fields of language planning and language law, as well as broader as fields such as public administration and public policy analysis. Moreover, it highlights a series of important recommendations that demand careful consideration by those responsible for policy and legislation relating to the Welsh language."
Dr Huw Lewis, Aberystwyth University
Current PhD students supervised by staff of the Unit:
- Laura Davies
- Gwennan Higham
- Kaisa Pankakoski
- Ben Screen
- Christina Wagoner
- Geraint Whittaker
- Gwenno Griffith
Selection of recently awarded PhD degrees
- Seán Ó Conaill (2013) - The Irish language and the Irish legal system, 1922 to present
- John Caulfield (2013) - A social network analysis of Irish language use in social media
- Lucy Morrow (2015) - An innovative, disruptive and radical mision: leadership and change in Welsh higher education [y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol]
- Steve Eaves (2015) - Hyffroddiant ymwybyddiaeth feirniadol am yr iaith Gymraeg, a’i gyfraniad at gynllunio ieithyddol cynhwysol yng Nghymru
- Jennifer Needs (2015) - Ymagwedd egwyddorol at ddatblygu deunyddiau ar-lein i ddysgwyr Cymraeg i Oedolion
Current research projects
Current and recent research projects undertaken by the LPPRU include a major ESRC sponsored project on the Office of Language Commissioner in Wales, Ireland and Canada (2012-15).
LPPRU also completed a Welsh Government sponsored review of micro-level language planning activities and policy in Wales (2013-14). A copy of the final report is available to read as part of the University’s commitment to open access.
The research of the LPPRU has had considerable imapct on public life, most notably in the field of language law. You can read about our impact in this field through the Reframing Language Law in Wales impact case study. This case study can also be found via the Research Excellence Framework 2014 website.
- Welsh speaking
- +44 (0)29 2087 9180
- Welsh speaking
- +44 (0)29 2087 0413
- Welsh speaking
- +44 (0)29 2087 4843
These are a selection of recent events in which Unit researchers have participated.
- CUP / BAAL research seminar co-organised by Gwennan Higham (PhD candidate) on the subject of New plurilingual pathways for integration: immigrants and language learning in the 21st century hosted by Heriot-Watt University (May 2016).
- Research paper by Professor Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost at Oxford University entitled Tactical successes and strategic failures – the Office of Irish Language Commissioner (May 2016).
- Research paper by Professor Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost at the Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington DC entitled Language law in practice: the Welsh Language Commissioner’s statutory investigation into High Street banks (March 2016).
- Conference paper by invitation by Professor Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost at Bangor University’s administrative justice conference 2015, entitled Fit for purpose? Administrative justice, language law and language ombudsmen, commissioners and regulators in Canada, Ireland and Wales (September 2015).
- Public lecture by Professor Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost hosted by Cwmni Iaith Cyf at the National Eisteddfod, entitled Comisiynydd neu Gomisiwn’ [Welsh language presentation] (August 2015).
For some of the public response to this, see [Welsh language only] Golwg360.
- Research symposium hosted by LPPRU, entitled Regulating language, regulating rights (April 2015).
- Research paper by Professor Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost at the Institute of Welsh Politics, Aberystwyth University, entitled Comisiynydd y Gymraeg: rheoleiddio, rhyddid a risg [Welsh language presentation] (April 2015).
For some of the public response to this, see [Welsh language only] Golwg360 and BBC Cymru Fyw.
- Members of LPPRU were rapporteurs at the colloquium on the subject of Commissioners and ombudsmen and the infrastructure of Welsh governance: lessons from Wales and lessons for Wales organised by the Institute for Welsh Politics, Aberystwyth University and hosted by the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff (March 2014).
- Keynote paper by Professor Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost on the subject of The meaning of official language’ at the conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on the subject of ‘Equality of access to democracy hosted by the National Assembly for Wales (May 2014).
Read the report on the conference, and other detail.