Language policy issues are crucial in a number of Asian cultures--China has many linguistic minorities and non-standard speech varieties and dialects, India is constitutionally and de facto multilingual, and has borrowed a version of Austro-Hungarian and Soviet language policy (with mixed results), and most post-Soviet Asian polities are either openly or covertly dealing with language minority issues.
In many of the polities in question it is education, and what language to use for it, that is fraught with much emotion. In the Arab world (as indeed in much of Africa, for example) the question might be which dialect teachers should display proficiency in, in order to qualify as teachers in the schools of, say, Egypt, while in other areas of Africa the question would be whether to use indigenous languages or ex-colonial languages in education. What is needed therefore is research into the belief systems that ground the culturally dominant answers given in these societies to such questions as `Where does (the) language (of education) come from?' and `What is the relationship between spoken and written language?'. How children learn language in South Asia; the ways in which this learning or acquisition differs from practices in North America or North Africa; what the culture `thinks' about how children learn the `mother tongue' and the implications of that thinking for educational policy, are all in need of far more systematic attention.