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Literacy in Mulicultural Society - Essay Example

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Literacy in Multicultural Society Name: Institution: LITERACY IN MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY Language is a tool used by individuals to communication to one another with the objective of understanding one another’s perspective. All around the world there exists thousands of languages used by billions of people…
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Literacy in Mulicultural Society

Download file to see previous pages... At this stage in life, the child emulates the way the parents and people around communicate to each other through language. It is automatic that a child will take up the language spoken by his mother and thus the popular phrase, mother tongue. According to Ruiz (1984) the following are three ways in which language can be viewed, first as a problem, secondly as right and thirdly as a resource. An individual’s language can either be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on location and people in the vicinity. It has been possible for people to overcome the limitation of speaking only one language. Overcoming the limitation is through learning more than one language, also known as bilingualism. This paper will give a discussion of how language is a problem, a right or a resource in relation to literacy in a local and global, multicultural environment. Language Language is a form of communication organized systematically and, it incorporates the use of symbols and signs. Formal languages contain four components semantics, pragmatics, phonology and morphology (Bochner & Jones, 2004). The following are explanations of how language develops in an infant. The first one is cognitive explanation, which puts emphasis, on the relationship between language and cognition. Secondly, behaviorist explanation stresses that an infant develops language from interaction he has with the environment. Lastly, interactional explanation states that children learn through interacting with family members (Bochner & Jones, 2004). Language as a problem Language is a problem when it discriminates against those who do not speak the same language as the native speakers (Haugen 1987). Minorities have suffered their share of discrimination to the extent of denied their human rights. Individuals, whose language is inferior, have also been considered to be of low class. Immigrants have faced language as a problem in many occasions because of the fact that, they find themselves in a new environment in which the native people who are the majority have their own language. The minority language is a problem to the immigrants since they cannot communicate using their own language is not appreciated or acceptable. It is evident that literacy in a multicultural environment involves using certain languages. In educational institutions, only major languages are used in learning, this means that individuals speaking minority language have to learn the major language which is used during the learning process. It is also important to note that, in major academic fields books have only been published using the main languages, local languages have not been considered in this case. Students, speaking minority language with goals of attending major universities on the global scale have employed the strategy of learning the acceptable languages during their early years of education. This has proved to be advantageous to them since they are no longer limited by a language barrier (McIntosh, 1998). In many occasions, the issues faced when language is a problem is solved by bilingualism. Bilingualism entails understanding and speaking more than one language. Language as a problem has gone to the extent to which immigrants miss chances for admission in educational institutions. Social injustice in terms of discrimination due to language has seen to it that foreign language speakers miss the benefit of education. Individuals speaking foreign languages come to the point of abandoning their languages ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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