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Bilingualism as a National Language Policy Research Paper


Introduction

Language policy is currently used by various governments as a tool of protecting the cultural, social and economic values of the state and government. The enhancement of the language policy in this manner defends the country’s official language of a particular region which is threatened by other languages. Language bilingualism is a current practise conducted by various states in the establishment of two languages to act as communicating tools (Ferguson, 2006).

The two languages are established as a national policy to facilitate a communication platform amongst different people from various cultural backgrounds (Ruiz, 2004). The policy adaptation involves the representation of the most commonly used and accepted languages to act as communicating tool by the population of the given state or country. Bilingualism has been effective in different countries and states. In addition, diversity in languages enhances development and growth.

Definition of Language Policy

Language policy stands for the facilitation of governing policies designed by a country to ensure the use of a common language amongst its citizens. Language policies have been used by different countries over time in the establishment of a communicating tool that would join the citizens to a common and cohesive goal. Preservation and protection of linguistic and cultural diversity in the 21st Century is vital according to the research illustrated by politicians, writers, leaders, artists and by the human rights and linguistics activists (Shohamy, 2006).

The current languages spoken word wide stands at approximately six thousand languages. These languages are a threat of being eroded and diminished in the 21st Century. There are numerous factors that affect the usage and existence of the various human languages.

The use of the language in formal learning and communication is the key determinant of the importance and effectiveness of a language. Some languages are very essential in the learning and communication practices of various people in offices, businesses, institutions and in the government (Ferguson, 2006). This means that these languages are vital in the communication of the entire region due to its diversity.

The size of the languages native speaker also indicates the general usage and importance of the language to the people of the entire region, state or country. The languages used by the biggest percentage of the population acts as a common communicating ground amongst the population (Mackey, 2009). The adaptation of a common language used by the majority of the population leads to the desire to know and learn the same language from the other smaller tribes.

Individual and personal reasons lead people to learn and embrace foreign languages which are commonly used in their region so that they can also be part of the dialogues and conversations in the region. Similarly, the tribes that have low population numbers fail to interact effectively with other regional or country members due to communication barrier. The result of erosion in languages usually takes place when the low population languages are neglected and adaptation of new languages enhanced.

The economic and social weight of majority of the speakers of a particular language determines the effectiveness of language policies. The language can have a small percentage in terms of its usage and population but the availability of elites who use or uphold that particular language leads to a clear determination of whether the language is recognised by a particular state or government. According to the research conducted by various scholars, every language has a right of protection, recognition and establishment in the various language policies established by the states. The facilitation of this effect governs the minority population from oppression and discrimination.

In addition, the language acts as one of the tools that moderate the cultural, economic and social values of a certain group of people, region and country (Shohamy, 2006). In addition, language policy is currently used by various governments as a tool of protecting the cultural, social and economic values of the state and government. The current languages spoken word wide stands at approximately six thousand languages. This means that these languages are vital in the communication of the entire region due to its diversity. The size of the languages native speaker also indicates the general usage and importance of the language to the people of the entire region, state or country.

The knowledge of different languages acts as an added advantage to international trade, foreign exchange and globalisation. The 21st Century has resulted to the realisation of diversified markets through international trade and globalisation. Involvement of students in international learning and education is also a tool illustrating on the importance of bilingualism (Ruiz, 2004). Students learn different languages to enhance their communication with other students and with business associates in future.

The diversity of a person in languages acts as a fundamental establishment because the current century needs people who have diverse communication skills. In addition, investors from various countries and states have acknowledged the benefits of diversification. This has resulted in growth of international institutions, organisations and companies across the world with the aim of diverse facilitation of goods and services with the aim of customer satisfaction, growth and profit accumulation.

Language Policy and Goals

Language policy consists of different significant roles in the establishment of an industrious and cohesive state and country. The language policies act as fundamental tools in the establishment of barriers of language erosion from external involvement, international trade and globalisation (Ricento, 2000). Research indicates that languages are the key contributors of the cultural heritage of a certain region.

Consequently, language policy is currently used by various governments as a tool of protecting the cultural, social and economic values of the state and government. Some languages are very essential in the learning and communication practices of various people in offices, businesses, institutions and in the government. There are numerous languages that exist in the different parts of the world and are not recognised or established. Some of these languages are yet to be provided in writing because they are not officially recognised.

According to Spolsky, languages which are termed or seen as endangered go through segregation because of lack of formal and informal support and integration (Spolsky, 2009). The distinction between planning and policy making results in an effective realisation of language policies that acknowledge diversity in languages and facilitate a mutual relation among different languages. The domain of the various languages is dependable on the social and economic status.

There are languages that are seen as universal because of the ancient political and economic influences. For instance, some countries adopted their colonies official language as their own official language. The adaptation of foreign languages as the key and formal language in states and countries with low social and economic standards resulted from colonialism and slavery. On the other hand, the locals who were subjected to colonialism and slavery by the countries with huge social and economic standards had to learn the language of their colonies.

Communication between the colonies and their subjects had to exist thus the facilitation of education facilities to enhance proper communication grounds between the two parties. Slavery and colonisation therefore acts as an essential element which facilitated the learning of the major languages (Mackey, 2009). In addition, the presence of various languages that are recognised worldwide and practised in various parts signifies the need to have bilingualism and multilingualism.

The state or government can be willing to set language policies to protect the cultural, social and economic values of the local citizens. However, the maintenance of the local languages depends entirely on the native language speakers.

The government sets the different policies in the governance of the various languages and their corresponding policies. Languages are vital in the communication of the entire region due to its diversity. The size of the languages native speaker also indicates the general usage and importance of the language to the people of the entire region, state or country. The twenty first Century has resulted to the realisation of diversified markets through international trade and globalisation. Every language has a right of protection, recognition and establishment in the various language policies established by the states (UNESCO, 2008).

The language acts as one of the tools that moderate the cultural, economic and social values of a certain group of people, region and country. The diversity of a person in languages acts as a fundamental establishment because the current century needs people who have diverse communication skills. The language policies act as fundamental tools in the establishment of barriers of language erosion from external involvement, international trade and globalisation.

Reasons for Language Policy

There are numerous reasons behind the establishment of language policies. The reasons depend on the diversity of the language, population using the language, amongst other factors. The importance of a language in the facilitation of communication and learning processes of the population of a state or country acts an essential determination and reason behind the establishment of language policies (Ricento, 2000).

Research shows that the cultural diversity and the heritage of the various communities and regions depend mostly on their local languages. The governance of the language policies by the state offers an essential obligation to different languages to practise indigenous cultural norms and communication without external pressure and interference. On the other hand, the facilitation of language policy of bilingualism provides room for international growth and development. The use of two languages in communication and learning enhances on the diversity of knowledge and business opportunities.

The availability of international trade, globalisation and international relations gives a platform for growth and development. The state should therefore provide room for communication and learning to enhance on the different improvement levels in the social and economic standards. According to UNESCO, a close relationship between countries communicating in different languages provides a base for growth and development (UNESCO, 2008).

The achievement of this is realised due to lack of communication hazards and the embracement of the different cultures and languages. The recognition of language adaptation by a country in the learning and education institutions results in improved social and communication standards among various countries. Similarly, the levels of investors increase with the increase in goods and services. The availability of numerous sources of goods and services ultimately results in the reduction of prices thus bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.

Challenges and solutions for Language Policy

The government or state faces various challenges in the implementation of the language policies. The enactment of language policies to limit the erosion and extinction of languages and provide limitless boundaries in the use of different languages acts as a challenge to the different governmental entities. The native speakers in most cases fail to embrace their relative languages and opt to adopt the internationally recognised languages in communication.

The research conducted by various research practitioners illustrates that the different local languages will start disappearing in the 21st century (Wright, 2007). Globalisation and the presence of free international trade have greatly contributed to the adaptation of certain foreign languages to assist in communication between citizens of different countries and economic and social background. The presence of elites from local languages determines the recognition of their native languages. Nepotism, corruption and other related factors contribute greatly to the allocation of language policies. Bureaucracy is another factor that leads to adverse effects on the facilitation of effective and efficient language policies.

The proper channels should be followed in the facilitation of language policies of individual states and governments. This provides a clear and concise formulation of the long term policies that lead to cohesion and understanding amongst the different users. On the other hand, the acknowledgement of the diverse languages and their individual significance should facilitate a motive from the government or state. The above factors can effectively act as solutions to the various problems generated by the enactment of language polices.

Arabization and Language Policy

Arabization which is at times referred to as Arabisation depicts the art of non-Arabs embracing the cultural values, learning Arabic and embracement of the Arab identity. The realisation of Arabization developed in the seventh century where the Arab culture and language was established to oppose the Arab Christians who were natives of the lands conquered by Arab Muslims (Wright, 2007). The Arabs intermarried with other communities and hence the growth and spread of Arabic and Arabs worldwide.

The Arabic language has gained recognition over the past decades due to the availability of diverse and numerous job opportunities and economic and social benefits. Arab countries are recognised for their fertility in crude oil and petroleum products. This makes the Arabian countries and states an economic attraction to many citizens from various states.

The presence of foreigners in Arab countries results in the need to teach and learn Arabic as well as English, Spanish, French and other languages. The connection between Arabization and language policy lies in the fact that there are numerous foreign visitors that work in the companies, organisations and institutions in the relevant Arab countries. Learning and communication is a vital aspect in the economy and social status of the Arabian countries.

Consequently, the different states use language policies to enhance on the communication, learning and teaching practises within their individual boarders. In addition, the availability of international and foreign learning institutions provides room for education advancement (Spolsky, 2009). The foreign students benefit in advancing their studies in the Arab countries through language polices. Similarly, the Arabs benefit through the establishment of language policies because they also learn foreign languages to enhance communication between them and other citizens from foreign countries (Tollefson, 2006).

Policy of Bilingual Education

Language bilingualism is a current practise conducted by various states in the establishment of two languages to act as communicating tools. The two languages are established as a national policy to facilitate a communication platform amongst different people from various cultural backgrounds (Hornberger, 2006). Language policies have been used by different countries over time in the establishment of a communicating tool that would join the citizens to a common and cohesive goal. Preservation and protection of linguistic and cultural diversity in the 21st Century is vital according to the research illustrated by politicians, writers, leaders, artists and by the human rights and linguistics activists.

Conclusion

There are numerous challenges and benefits affiliated with language policies and bilingualism. The state or government should enhance the enactment of useful and long-term language policies without corruption, nepotism bureaucracy or related factors. In addition, the adaptation of language policy involves the representation of the most commonly used and accepted languages to act as communicating tool by the population of the given state or country (Hornberger, 2006).

The result of erosion in languages usually takes place when the low population languages are neglected and adaptation of new languages enhanced. Similarly, the levels of investors increase with the increase in goods and services. The availability of numerous sources of goods and services ultimately results in the reduction of prices thus bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. The governance of the language policies by the state offers an essential obligation to different languages to practise indigenous cultural norms and communication without external pressure and interference.

References

Ferguson, G. (2006). Language planning and education. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Hornberger, N. H. (2006). Unpeeling the onion: Language planning and policy and the ELT professional. Tesol Quarterly, 30(3), 401-427.

Mackey, W. F. (2009). Language policy and language planning. Journal of communication, 29(2), 48-53.

Ricento, T. (2000). Historical and theoretical perspectives in language policy and planning. Journal of sociolinguistics, 4(2), 196-213.

Ruiz, R. (2004). Orientations in language planning. NABE journal, 8(2), 15-34.

Shohamy, E. (2006). Language Policy: Hidden agendas and new approaches. Oxon: Routledge.

Spolsky, B. (2009). Language Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tollefson, J. W. (2006). Critical theory in language policy: An Introduction to Language Policy: Theory and Method. NY: Blackwell Publishing.

UNESCO. (2008). Advocacy Brief on Mother Tongue-based Teaching and Education for Girls. Bangkok: UNESCO.

Wright, S. (2007). Language Policy and Language Planning: From Nationalism to Globalisation. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 13). Bilingualism as a National Language Policy. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-as-a-national-language-policy/

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"Bilingualism as a National Language Policy." IvyPanda, 13 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-as-a-national-language-policy/.

1. IvyPanda. "Bilingualism as a National Language Policy." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-as-a-national-language-policy/.


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IvyPanda. "Bilingualism as a National Language Policy." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-as-a-national-language-policy/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Bilingualism as a National Language Policy." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/bilingualism-as-a-national-language-policy/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Bilingualism as a National Language Policy'. 13 September.

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