What does it mean to be bilingual or multilingual? Discuss the different ways in which multilingualism can be defined, and the educational implications in a particular educational setting.
We define multilingual speakers as having the capacity to identify and communicate using three or more languages. The term bilingualism is used to label a person whom has the ability to interact using two languages; these languages are not always at an equal advancement, skill and communication level between these languages can differ.
Researchers have identified that there is a far larger population of multilingual individuals in the world compared to the monolingual, persons only capable of speaking one language, community. It is…show more content… Multilingualism allows for those capable of it to understand and appreciate different cultures and life styles and encourages open-mindedness, dismisses ignorance and boosts positive social relations. The argument regarding multilingualism’s importance is rife; although there are many benefits from language skills it seems there is a lack of drive to learn another language.
“Since the removal of compulsory language qualifications at Key Stage 4 in England, there has been a steady decline in numbers of students taking a GCSE in a language; the Language Trends Survey (2011) recorded a decline from 78% take up in 2001 to 40% in 2011” (Dr Taylor, 2013, p.4). This figure proves a topic of interest to researchers as it begs the question, if globally multilingualism is widespread and respected why is the law dismissing it?
Despite the removal of compulsory languages, since this time, more government plans have been issued to assist in bringing back language learning into an educational setting; the BBC declared that, from September 2014 in England, it was to be compulsory for primary school children aged seven and above to learn another language. It is a fact that the younger you are when you learn a language the earlier you pick it up; making it an obligation for 7+ year