Language policy and planning in urban professional settings: bilingualism in Cardiff businesses

Elisabeth Barakos

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper examines overt and covert Welsh-language policy and planning processes in private businesses in Cardiff. As part of an ongoing broader critical discourse-analytical study on the discursive construction of the promotion of Welsh in the private sector in Wales, a critical examination of language policy, ideology and perceived practices in Cardiff firms was performed. The study is based on qualitative interviews with business stakeholders in Cardiff and a set of language-policy documents. Analysis of the participants' perceptions indicates a range of factors that are in play when businesses engage with language-policy issues. It also provides a vital glimpse into how key business stakeholders perceive the sense of worth, or otherwise, of using the Welsh language and how top-down language-policy processes are mediated at the micro-level. The study identifies an overall positive trend in the levels of support for Welsh in business, with recurring favourable attitudes towards Welsh as a resource and a desirable, non-essential skill. Nonetheless, challenges remain, particularly with respect to the top-down planning agenda, which often diverges from the scenarios encountered in urban business settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167 - 186
JournalCurrent Issues in Language Planning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012

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