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date: 18 September 2021

p. 323. Multilingualism, myth, and controversieslocked

p. 323. Multilingualism, myth, and controversieslocked

  • John C. Maher


Analysing people’s beliefs about language is important for education and for our common understanding about how language works. ‘Multilingualism, myth, and controversies’ considers six myths: the Curse of Babel; the world would be peaceful if we all spoke one language; multilingualism is not natural; English is the global standard, so why bother with anything else?; languages cost too much; and multilingualism means multiculturalism. How and why is multiculturalism important to multilingualism? Firstly, because language is the medium of communication and the education of new citizens matters. Secondly, multilingualism raises awareness of the political and civil human rights of all members of society. Thirdly, because harnessing the various languages of the community establishes a richer social consensus.

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