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Multilingualism

By | October 2008
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Language is a crucial part of the heritage of any community that shapes and builds its identity. Therefore its existence needs to be valued and preserved as we do with the cultural and environmental heritage of a region. As there are between 5,000 and 7,000 languages in the world and only about 200 independent states, multilingualism seems to be a very common phenomenon. On the other hand, the governments of many countries give official recognition to only one or some of the languages spoken in the country and this creates the impression that multilingualism is not common at all. Thus I can say that linguistic diversity in the world today is an issue of growing social importance and the problem of multilingualism can be studied from different perspectives. It is a well-known fact that in today’s global society, the ability to speak more than one language is a valuable asset. Nowadays most Europeans live in cities, and more people are employed in the service and communication sectors where a foreign language is a must. In their leisure time, all except English-speaking people hear a foreign language –English almost daily in pop music, in TV news reports, and in many other contexts. So monolingualism is retreating in favour of multilingualism all over the world. In my opinion, our fluency in foreign languages enhances our economic competitiveness abroad. Not only it improves global communication, it also helps to maintain our political and security interests and promote tolerance and intercultural awareness. What is more, numerous researches have found a positive link between proficiency in more than one language and cognitive and academic skills. Some studies indicate that individuals who learn a second language are more creative and better at solving complex problems than those who do not .Standardized test results show that students who have focused on foreign language studies routinely achieve among the highest scores in all subjects tested. In order to...

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