Course materials for/by Peter L. Patrick. May contain copyright material used for educational purposes. Please respect copyright.

Language Rights lecture for HU 921

Contemporary Issues in Human Rights and Cultural Diversity

Prof. Peter L. Patrick

Dept. of Language & Linguistics



Lecture materials from the HU921 Language Rights lecture by Prof Peter Patrick are linked from this page (most reside elsewhere).

·                Summary outline, links and notes here:  (apologies, these notes are rather telegraphic!)

·                The intro on “10 Sociolinguistic Axioms” is here:

·                Some useful basic definitions and concepts of sociolinguistics can be found here:

o   Definitions of the field at

o   Useful concepts

·                Many materials used are drawn from my webpage on “Linguistic Human Rights: A Sociolinguistic Introduction”, found at, including links to

o   The Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights,

o   M.O.S.T. (Unesco) Clearing House on Linguistic Rights (Wayback version),

o   Linguistic Society of America statement on Linguistic Rights:

o   A summary of English-Only cases in the USA may be found here:

·                Resources on African American English, a well-known discriminated ethnic dialect, may be found here: and here:

·                Links and material on the topic of asylum seekers and language testing may be found at the website of the Language and Asylum Research Group (LARG),

·                The Annual Lecture on Language and Human Rights at Essex series brings the leading figures in the field to campus every year. See past lecture materials here (click on the year for materials).

·                The Fourth Annual Lecture on Language and Human Rights at Essex, delivered by Prof. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas in 2005, included a powerpoint on “Linguistic Genocide in Education”, which we’ll talk about in class:

o   Prof. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas’s homepage

·                The webpage for my course LG474 Language Rights is here: (this coursepage may be from last year, not yet updated for the current academic year’s offering)

o   Including links to a bibliography on language rights:

o   And some HR instruments with excerpts highlighted that are relevant to language rights:

·                The 14th Annual Lecture on Language and Human Rights at Essex will be given on 18th May 2017 by Dr. Dave Sayers, Department of Humanities at Sheffield Hallam University – more details here:


Essay Question for this topic in HU921

Develop a case study of one or more national, group or minority language rights situations. A comparison is recommended, though a single detailed case may be accepted. You should:

·      Identify a language-related issue, conflict or problem,

·      Describe it in detail,

·      Frame it in terms of language rights,

·      Refer to specific national or international instruments (constitutions, legislations, declarations, resolutions, conventions etc.),

·      Consider existing language planning or policy efforts or remedies critically; if you cannot find existing ones aimed at your situation, consider ones that have been tried or recommended elsewhere, and examine how they might be applied, and

·      If possible, recommend a practical course or courses of action. What obstacles can you anticipate to these?

A short list of alternative essay questions may be found at Other topics may be valid too. Please see the “General advice” at that webpage before planning your essay.


You can access the reading list for LG474 Language Rights and use them as resources for this question:

· or, for an alphabetical version,



Students from HU921 are very welcome to attend my spring (Jan-March) term module LG474 Language Rights, which enrols HU, Law, and Linguistics students in a large and lively class. More information on that module is at

·  (not yet updated for the 2014 term)


Peter L Patrick’s homepage

Last updated on 03 March 2017