The article "Language as commodity: global structures, local marketplaces" by Peter Tan and Rani Rubdy explores the issue of treating languages as commodities. While the book is written by regional specialists and organized by countries, it focuses on the agency of individuals, institutions, and governments in creating, implementing, and sometimes refusing to accept language policy and planning (LPP). The authors argue that individuals choose to use English for its social, economic, and communicative usefulness rather than being imposed upon them.
However, the article has some potential biases. For example, it mainly focuses on Asian countries' language policies without exploring other regions' perspectives. Moreover, it assumes that economic benefits are the primary reason for valuing a language while ignoring cultural or historical reasons. Additionally, some chapters lack evidence to support their claims or fail to consider counterarguments.
Furthermore, the article overlooks some crucial considerations such as linguistic diversity's importance in preserving cultural heritage and promoting social cohesion. It also fails to address the potential risks of commodifying languages such as reinforcing power imbalances between dominant and minority groups or neglecting less economically valuable languages.
In conclusion, while "Language as commodity: global structures, local marketplaces" provides valuable insights into LPP issues in Asia, it needs more balanced coverage of different regions' perspectives and a more nuanced understanding of language's multifaceted values beyond economic benefits.