Promotion of plurilingualism in a multilingual society

Plurilingualism issues are natural today because every country in the world embraces more than one nationality whose language, culture, history, and education influence the development of the country and intercultural communication within the country.

The promotion of plurilingualism in a multilingual society is seen in two ways (Boeckmann et al., 2011). Firstly, they stress the attention on the secondary school education in which students are taught in the majority language as a medium of instruction. Secondly, they discuss the issues of plurilingualism and language hierarchy in teaching; how they are perceived by the representatives of school management and the necessity of students’ awareness about these serious questions. They urge to consider not only linguistic questions, but also the cultural diversity of a multilingual society. I see their point in teaching and directing the present generation to the right understanding of these serious issues in promoting plurilingualism, since, it is the core criteria in achieving future understanding and peace between different nations living in a country.

In the same vein, Boutillier (2012) suggests a bottom-up approach for plurilingualism. According to him, the population of a country plays an important role as well as the government of the country. It is the essential factor because citizens should understand their obligations in the society. He investigates the strengths and weaknesses of three countries’ past experiences (Canada, Kenya, and Kyrgyzstan) and comes to the conclusion that “The politics of accommodation begins at home (p. 11). I believe this is absolutely true because many outside factors might influence the stability of a country, but nothing is worse than inside misbalance and conflicts.

Finally, the population has some power which should be encouraged by the government and foster the citizens’ desire to support multilingualism. The policy makers should provide necessary resources, and, certainly, make every effort to achieve the goals together with its citizens. Although different obstacles are going to prevent a successful promotion of plurilingualism, there is a good saying by Boutillier (2012) “Learning to live together peaceably with disagreement is an achievement” (p. 14).

References

Boeckmann et al. (2011). Promoting Plurilingualism: Majority Language in Multilingual Settings. TESOL Quarterly. 654-657. doi: 10.1002/tesq.106

Boutillier (2012). Defining Plurilingualism. Pluralism Papers No. 1. 1-14. Global Centre for Pluralism.

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