Being multilingual is the strong advantage for living in multicultural society. The individual with the baggage of linguistic knowledge is flexible and universal. While talking in diverse languages he/she gains more than just communication, but the deeper understanding and, in some cases, the sense of belonging to the number of cultures. This ability shapes personal characteristics and creates the global person, who thinks broadly and globally. Living in multicultural society everyone can be involved in interethnic communication, but to make it beneficial for learning, discovering, growing personally and enabling new horizons? The answer is “Multilingual and Multicultural club”. The platform for gathering different people with different backgrounds in one place, which is beneficial for every participant. Learning languages; exploring new cultural values, traditional food, lifestyle, the upbringing of children in multiethnic families, ethics in the international context are the directions for discussing in this club.
- photo credit: http://kwickid.com/
Firstly, this idea came to my mind when I started to mention that my son tries to speak with English speaking children and he repeats English words after them. At the same time, those kids learn Russian from my son. Nobody planned this learning activity, it is the natural process of communication. This situation shows us that the purpose of the language is the communication and learning languages just for knowing is the deadlock. As Cenoz (2013) mentioned: “Multilingual speakers use the languages at their disposal as a resource in communication, and as their repertoire is wider, they usually have more resources available than monolingual speakers” (Cenoz, 2013, p. 11). In other words, language is the resource for exploring the world. Therefore, the existence of Multilingual and Multicultural club is the beneficial platform, which will create the atmosphere of effortless learning of languages and cultures.
What for do we need Multilingual and Multicultural clubs? In this case, Hummon indicates “community identity answers the question, “Who am I?”, but does so by countering “Where am I?” or, more fundamentally, “Where in the landscape of community forms do I belong?”” (Hummon, 1990, p. 143). Exploring others, we explore ourselves, we deeply analyze our beliefs, actions, acts and views. By doing so we learn how to respect others, be friendly, perceive community and educate next generation.
Do Multilingual and Multicultural clubs exist in other countries? They do! There are numerous of such clubs in every country. Mostly they promote their activities in social media. They are Multilingual club in Japan, Vancouver, Malaysia, Spain, UAE ,USA , etc. Multilingualism and multiculturalism are supported everywhere all around the world. There is an information about the Multilingual club in Karaganda at the Karaganda State Medical University.
Nazarbayev University itself is the multilingual and multicultural community which may serve as the foundation for the Multicultural and Multilingual club, that’s why I am sharing my idea with you for espousing and empowering the project with new thoughts and support. Together we can amplify the club and develop the social project for preparing children and their families for trilingual education. Moreover, with the help of this club, we will demystify the advantages of multilingualism or plurilingualism in the multicultural society.
*For taking active participation in this project please contact firstname.lastname@example.org*
Hummon, D. M. (1990). Commonplaces: Community ideology and identity in American culture. SUNY Press, p.143.
Cenoz, J. (2013). Defining multilingualism. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 33, 3. p.11.
photo credit: Kazhigalieva A. (2017) Mapping project on languages and cultures of Kazakhstan, Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=759242740911790&set=a.435316439971090.1073741830.100004782127386&type=3&theater