Multilingualism and European Commission

Topics: Multilingualism, Second language, Linguistics Pages: 3 (1055 words) Published: April 27, 2011
About 250 million years ago, Pangæa the supercontinent was split up and eventually settled on the current continental configuration. As civilization flourished, the inhabitants developed their own language and culture on each continent. However, trading and getting along with the neighboring communities forced many groups to learn more than their mother tongue. This pragmatic use of multilingualism is especially evident in Sub-Saharan Africa. Today, the benefits of mastering more than one language has influenced other continents such as Europe to incorporate multilingualism into its society. Consequently, in the world’s population, multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual spealers. Despite being so close to Quebec and Mexico, United States is the only technologically advanced country to not require the study of a foreign language in its schools. Currently, there are about 16 states nationwide with some level of foreign language requirement for students to receive their diplomas (Bentman). The growing importance of English in the world has contributed to the foreign language deficiency of the American population. Although United States is known for being a quilt sewn by the threads of multi-cultural/language individuals, few Americans are fluent in more than one language. The consequences of a mostly monolingual American society have both economic and social factors. From an economic standpoint, the United States suffers from an international trade gap. As more business are dealing internationally, the need for bilingual representatives, especially those who are fluent in the language of the buyers, will skyrocket. The lack of exposure to foreign language will prevent Americans from learning cultures, history and geography of other parts of the world; thus branding the title of the ignorant American who is oblivious of others. Therefore, United States needs to realize that the ability to speak other countries' languages with an understanding of the...
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