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Bilingualism and, Multilingualism, K T KHADER, SOCIOLINUISTICS. IUG GAZA, The Language of Diversity, The language of diversity is an evolving one that requires awareness . understanding and skill much in the same way as other areas of. diversity competencies Language provides a means for. communication among and between individuals and groups . Language serves as a vehicle for expressing thoughts and feelings . And when it comes to diversity language can be a bridge for building. relationships or a tool for creating and maintaining divisions across. differences Having a common language for talking about and across. difference is essential for breaking down divisions and working. towards achieving understanding and partnership In developing a. common language around diversity it is important that language be. affirming and not about creating blame guilt or pity. Historically our challenge with language as it relates to. diversity is that it has often been used as a tool of. oppression for the express purpose of establishing and. perpetuating systems of dominance and hierarchies, between and among groups As a result language has in. many instances throughout our society s history served to. advance the status of certain groups while relegating other. groups to a status of inferiority Early examples of the use. of language for this purpose includes the designation of. Native Americans as savages and primitive in contrast. to European settlers as civilized , the use of the term African slaves to passively. describe an inhumane system of forced bondage that. enslaved the free people of Africa diminishing the. status of adult women through the active use of the term. girl the use of the term America to specifically refer. to the United States as opposed to the whole Western. Hemisphere that makes up America When used in this. manner language has systematically helped to minimize. and vilify certain groups and justify subsequent patterns. of exclusion mistreatment and exploitation , While our intentions in the use of language when interacting. with or referencing groups may not be as ill spirited and biased. as the examples given above when we are not conscious of. the power of words and labels our impact can be just as. detrimental For example when we hear individuals struggle. with finding the right terminology for referencing particular. groups of people i e African Americans gay and lesbian . differently abled etc they routinely express their frustration. by stating that the people from these groups can t make up. their minds about what they want to be called or that they. need to figure out a name once and for all , Unfortunately more often than not the individuals. demanding that these groups make up their mind are not. members of these groups and are usually in a position of. relevant dominant status While the desire of these. individuals to achieve clarity in these instances is well. intentioned their behaviors reflect an assumed position of. superiority This false sense of superiority becomes even. more pronounced when these individuals take it upon. themselves to define the group without input from that. group As a result members of these groups lose their right. to define and name themselves on their own terms, Being aware of the power of our language is not about being. politically correct It is about treating people with respect and. dignity and increasing awareness In an article entitled . Words are potent weapons for all causes good or bad Kathy. Lechman Leader Diversity Development Ohio State. University Extension shares examples of some common. statements that many of us have repeatedly heard throughout. our lives While many of these are seemingly innocuous others. are blatantly derogatory and offensive Whatever the case. these statements convey beliefs and attitudes that ultimately. take away from the dignity and respect that should be afforded. all individuals , I went to the car dealership and really Jewed. them down This is America everyone can, achieve if they really wanted to and people on. welfare are just lazy and out for a free ride . Why do those people keep causing problems and, asking for special treatment The only people. who live in trailer parks are poor white trash . People from small towns are stupid rednecks I. am not prejudiced some of my best friends are, I do not have a problem with gay or lesbian people . as long as they don t try to convert me I don t see. color we are all the same Young people are nothing. but trouble Fat people are lazy and lack discipline . Look at that poor crippled person You are such an. Indian giver Get your cotton picking hands off of. that Generation Xer s have no work ethic and do. not know the meaning of the word loyalty Old, people should have their driver s licenses taken away. because they cannot drive You are so retarded . In her fact sheet The Evolving Language of Diversity . retired Senior Extension Associate Cornell Cooperative. Extension Kathy Castania provides us with some, wonderful insights as to the power that words have to. shape our thoughts convey beliefs and perpetuate, attitudes about groups The fact sheet provides for. understanding the challenges that come with creating a. common language around diversity that is both affirming. and empowering The article provides an excellent, historical overview that can help us to contextualize the. evolution of language around diversity , Beyond providing a historical framework Kathy also. identifies some common pitfalls and misused terms across. multiple dimensions of diversity including gender . abilities class sexual orientation etc Alternative. strategies that can be quickly incorporated into our day to . day interactions with colleagues and program audiences. are presented throughout the article along with resources. for additional exploration and ongoing development. making this fact sheet an indispensable tool for advancing. the work of Extension in increasingly diverse, environments . What does it mean by being , Monolingualism , Bilingualism . Multilingualism , MONOLINGUALISM, The ability to use only one. usua misfi, BILINGUALISM , MULTILINGUALISM, The ability to use two or more than two languages . unusual requiremen, Bilingualism Multilingualism, Do not necessarily have exactly the same abilities. in the languages , Have varying degrees of command of the different. repertoires, The differences in competence in the various. languages might range from, command of a few lexical items. formulaic expressions e g Greetings , rudimentary conversational skills. excellent command of the grammar, vocabulary, specialized register and styles . Society with more than one, languages , Ones must find out who uses what . when and for what purpose if they are, to be socially competent . The language choices are part of the, social identity you claim for themselves . Bilingual vs Bidialectal, Defining different dialects and. languages are difficult, the bilingual bidialectal distinction that. speakers make reflects social cultural , and political aspirations or realities. rather than any linguistic reality, Bilingualism drawbacks. Regarded as problem, Inferiority, Being eradicated Americanization . Leading to language loss, Leading to diffusion certain features. spread from one language to the other s, as a result of the contact situation . particularly certain kinds of syntactic, Multilingualism is a powerful fact of. life around the world a, circumstance arising at the. simplest level from the need to, communicate across speech. communities Edwards 1994 1 , Multilingualism may indeed be a fact of life . as Edwards maintains above and people use, the term freely but what exactly is meant by. it The definition of multilingualism as used, here centres on the practice of using more. than one language to varying degrees of, proficiency among individuals and societies . It includes individuals who use one language, at home and another or others outside the. home it means people who have equal, ability in two or three languages . It includes individuals who use one language at. home and another or others outside the home , it means people who have equal ability in two or. three languages it includes people who can, function much better in one language but who can. still communicate in another or other , language s it refers to societies and nation . states who use more than one language in a, variety of situations to varying degrees Basically . multilingualism is the co existence of more than, one language in any given situation which is. actually the norm for most people and not the, example here is a sign in Glasgow . Scotland UK which reflects local, multilingualism . The question of how to define bilingualism or. multilingualism has engaged researchers for a very. long time Some researchers have favored a narrow, definition of bilingualism and argued that only those. individuals who are very close to two monolinguals in. one should be considered bilingual , More recently however researchers who study. bilingual and multilingual communities around the, world have argued for a broad definition that views. bilingualism as a common human condition that makes. it possible for an individual to function at some level . in more than one language The key to this very broad. and inclusive definition of bilingualism is more than. From the perspective of this framework a, bilingual individual is not necessarily an. ambilingual an individual with native competency, in two languages but a bilingual of a specific type. who along with other bilinguals of many different. types can be classified along a continuum Some, bilinguals possess very high levels of proficiency. in both languages in the written and the oral, modes Others display varying proficiencies in. comprehension and or speaking skills depending, on the immediate area of experience in which they. are called upon to use their two languages , According to this perspective one admits into the. company of bilinguals individuals who can to whatever. degree comprehend or produce written or spoken, utterances in more than one language Thus persons. able to read in a second language e g French but. unable to function in the spoken language are, considered to be bilinguals of a certain type and placed. at one end of the continuum Such persons are said to. have receptive competence in a second language and to. be more bilingual than monolinguals who have neither. receptive nor productive abilities in a language other. than their first The judgment here is comparative total. monolingualism versus a minor degree of ability to. comprehend a second language, Types of Bi and Multilinguals. Because there are very different kinds of, bilinguals and multilinguals much effort. in the study of bilingualism has gone into, developing categories which might make. the measurement and description of, these differences possible The categories. used to describe different types of, bilinguals reflect different researchers . interests in focusing on specific aspects, of bilingual ability or experience. Researchers concerned about the age of, acquisition of bilingualism for example . classify bilingual individuals as either, early or late bilinguals and further. subdivide early bilinguals into, simultaneous bilinguals those who. acquired two languages simultaneously as, a first language or sequential bilinguals. those who acquired the second language, L2 after the first language L1 was. acquired , Researchers on the other hand , concerned about the differences. between persons who choose to, study a second language and those. who grow up in communities where, several languages are spoken have. used the terms elite academic and, elective bilinguals for the former. and natural folk and, circumstantial bilinguals for the. The usefulness of these labels and categories. clearly depends on the specific interest a, researcher has in bilingualism Meaningful. comparisons of bilingual persons cannot generally, be made unless attention is given to the. differences and similarities between these, individuals in terms of a number of key. dimensions such as age of acquisition of the, second language circumstances in which the two. languages are used patterns of use of the two, languages in the surrounding community level of. formal education received in each language and, degrees of proficiency. Suggested Readings, Appel R and P Muysken 1987 Language. contact and bilingualism London Edward Arnold , Grosjean F 1982 Life with two. I do not have a problem with gay or lesbian people, as long as they donâ€™t try to convert me. I donâ€™t see color, we are all the same. Young people are nothing but trouble. Fat people are lazy and lack discipline. Look at that poor crippled person. You are such an Indian giver. Get your cotton-picking hands off of that!