Discussion of the Importance of Multilingualism Among Yout South Africans

956 WordsJun 24, 20184 Pages
Language is a system of representation that enables us to encode and convey meaning through the production and combination of signs. (Neves, 2011) Multilingualism can, therefore, be described as a person’s capability to maintain and practice two or more languages in an environment. This concept is quite commonly seen throughout South Africa as there is a total of eleven official languages. These languages are critical in today’s youth as they are exposed to a culturally diverse society which enables them to broaden their thinking in every-day life. Language within societies can be broken down into two categories, namely Linguistic Determinism and Linguistic Relativism. “Linguistic Determinism proposes that different languages incorporate…show more content…
During the years of language acquisition, the brain stores linguistic information but it also adapts to the grammatical predictabilities of language. (Sakai, 2005) It is classified under Cognitive Psychology and this development builds and enhances a child’s communication skills in their schooling careers. However, if children attend parallel medium schooling, they are likely never to learn and use one language. They will be able to speak and write in both languages which is a positive aspect but they may never have the full vocabulary or grammar rules as they are too busy learning both languages instead of concentrating fully on one. The positive aspects of multilingualism outweighs the negatives as being bilingual broadens one’s opportunities in schooling, especially in tertiary education, as well as one day when they are in search of jobs. A person is that much more employable and more likely to be successful if they are able to participate and communicate effectively in a growing and changing work environment. Multilingualism can be seen as a vitally important factor amongst young South Africans as there is a constant change occurring in the schooling and work environments. The drastic change from Apartheid to the diverse and inclusive society today, where all languages are accepted and recognised in South Africa’s legislation, is the grounding and

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