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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. Multilingualism within Nation States and the Danger of Separation
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But research suggests that being bilingual has extensive cognitive benefits and may even reduce the effects of ageing. These studies propose that speaking more than one language not only improves linguistic and communication skills but also has a much broader positive impact on the brain. In addition to cognitive benefits, studies have found there are also social and cultural advantages to speaking multiple languages. The Ethnologue ranking only looks at the number of languages used as a first language in each country.

Rachel Hallett , Formative Content. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum. I accept. Rachel Hallett Formative Content. New report: Top 10 Emerging Technologies of Read the report. Most Popular. A km-long mass of rotting seaweed is heading for Mexico's pristine beaches Sean Fleming 08 Jul The NCF further states that "India is unique not only in that a large number of languages are spoken here but There is no other country in the world in which languages from five different language families exist" p.

It is worthwhile to note that India has recognized the importance of its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic social realities by accepting multilingual educationand recognizingindigenous and minority languages in its Constitution since its independence from the British in According to the constitutional provisions for the use of languages in India, the use of English as a second official languagewas supposed to be phased-out by When an apparent revolution took place against the "Hindi only" policy in some parts of the country in the s, India adopted a policy called the "Three Language Formula" TLF in , according to which Hindi is the national language, English is the language for official businesses along with Hindi, and the third language a state-wise recognized language.

The Indian Constitution has also provided some safeguards to diverse linguistic and cultural identity of the nation and so as to sustain multilingual India. As the Article 29 of the Constitution states the following about distinct identities of indigenous and minority communities, "[A]nysection of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same. Asthe Article A of the Constitution states the following about mother-tongue instructions at the primary stage of education to children of the linguistic minorities: "[I]t shall be the endeavor of every State, and of every local authority within the State to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups.

However, the question is still unanswered regarding how to define mother-tongue for education purposes. Despite the constitutional definition of mother-tongue, recently in some court decisions of Tamilnadu and Karnataka states, the concept of mother tongue has been interpreted in different ways. According to the court verdict of Madras High Court, mother tongue could be more than one for a particular region, such as Tamil and Tulu local indigenous language both could be recognized as mother-tongues of some children in Tamilnadu and it is not necessary that the mother-tongue of children must be the language of parents or a family or language of a community MOHANTY, Hornberger and Vaish argue that despite India's egalitarianThree Language Formula TLF of , many Indian children are being educated in a language which is not their own language.

In some parts of India, mostly in Hindi speaking states e. According to UNESCO , "many minority language children continue to speak their mother tongue at home, but learn to read and write in the dominant regional language While Jhingran points out, over 12 percent children in India suffer severe learning disadvantage because they are denied access to primary education through their mother tongues.

The position paper further stated that "[I]t is with a sense of regret In light of the above stated language learning and teaching situations in India, the NCERT Position Paper has also emphasized the need for proper educational policies of mother-tongue education and quality teacher training:. It is worthwhile to note that the Indian census reported fifty-seven languages with more than a million speakers and in some areas children speak three or four languages even before going to school.

It is important to note that a country like India cannot afford to implement classroom instruction in its all languages. There are also many other factors that determine whether a language can be a sole medium of instruction or not. On the other hand, the NCF has also strongly emphasized for the implementation of true multilingualism in Indian schools. By referring to the nation's three language formula, it further states, "It is a strategy that should really serve as a launching pad for learning more languages. It needs to be followed both in letter and spirit Its primary aim is to promote multilingualism and national harmony" p.

For implementation of true multilingualism in schools, the NCF also provides some specific guidelines:. The Three language formula needs to be implemented in its true spirit, promoting multilingual communicative abilities for a multilingual country.

In the case of Hindi speaking states, children learn a language not spoken in their area. Nonetheless, implementation of multilingualism is not that easy in India, given the place of the English language at all levels of education. However, the Position Paper also acknowledges that "English does not stand alone.

1. Introduction

It needs to find its place: a along with other Indian languages: i in regional medium schools: how can children's other languages strengthen English learning? Language is best acquired through different meaning-making contexts and hence all teaching in a sense is language teaching" p. Hence, "The aim of English teaching is the creation of multilinguals who can enrich all our languages; this has been an abiding national vision" NCERT, , p.

Based on all these legal provisions and actual practices, and arguments and counter arguments, it can be inferred that language education in India is as complex as the nation itself, in terms of its demographics. In other words, with the advent of recent globalization, there have been some added complexities in terms of language policies in India. India needs to prepare its aspiring workforce equipped with English language competency for global markets on the one hand, and to keep its long cherished multi-ethnic and linguistic diversities through multilingualism, on the other.

There needs to be a balanced approach in language policies in India: Hindi and English along local, regional, and indigenous languages need to be taught. Nepal is a small but multilingual nation. Despite its small size, it is linguistically diverse. According to the census, there are 92 languages spoken as mother tongues in Nepal. In this respect, it is worthwhile to refer to Turin , who notes that. It is important to note that since the restoration of democracy in , the government of Nepal has realized the importance of Mother Tongue MT education in consonance with the UN declaration.

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Some of the steps the government has taken in this connection are reflected in its laws and acts. For the first time, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal has made provision for the right to gain primary education through mother tongues. Accordingly, the National Commission for Language Policy strongly recommended the use of mother tongues as mediums of instruction at the primary level of education. It was followed by the seventh amendment of Education Act and different policy documents envisaged under the tenth National Plan, such as Education for All EFA , and Vulnerable Community Development Plan , have opened up the venues for setting up schools which encourage inclusive modalities by way of MT education NCF, Later, in consonance with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal and the Education for ALL EFA National Program, the Government of Nepal adopted a policy to introduce different mother-tongues as medium of instruction at primary level of education.

In this context it is relevant to refer to Anders-Baer et al. Hence, it is important to promote mother-tongue education at primary level in Nepal. It is also important to note that a huge number of children drops out of school in Nepal due to various factors. One of them is the language of instruction, Nepali. Referring to the gap between home languages of children and the language of instruction in Nepal, Skutnabb-Kangas and Dunbar argue that "it would therefore be appropriate to educate the children in their mother-tongue in order to make the break between home and school as small as possible" p.

Although the existence of multiple languages in Nepal has long been recognized, there have been many shifts of policy concerning their recognition and usage within the education system. It was only after the advent of democracy in that language issues in education came to the forefront. As a strategy, the EFA program adopted the use of students' mother tongue as the medium of instruction from grades one to three in a monolingual situation while from the grade four onward the medium is Nepali as a strategy for the transitional bilingual education.

This measure proved to be a landmark towards the introduction of mother-tongue instruction. Altogether, twelve languages out of the nineteen languages, based on personal communication with the government officials of Nepal have so far been introduced as optional subjects in the different primary schools of more than 17 districts NCF, ; UNESCO, In Nepal, English was taught as a foreign language from , when Durbar High School was established.

However, it was only in that the "Nepal National Education Plan " formally recognized English as a foreign language along with some other foreign languages such as Chinese, French, Hindi, Japanese, Russian, and Tibetan.

Multilingualism within Nation States and the Danger of Separation

Since then, English was being taught from grade four to graduate level courses as a foreign language in Nepalese educational institutes and universities GIRI, After restoration of the multiparty system in , the government of Nepal made the provision for teaching English language from grade one in the place of grade four in Gradually it would be used as a second language in the Nepalese education system.

However, due to perceived inadequacies of the public education system to teach English as a foreign language in particular, parents have invested heavily in private tutoring or language institutes to provide English education to their children GIRI, Owing to great dearth of ELT professionals in Nepalese education system in general and at the Ministry of Education in particular, and due to lack of ELT experts in policy formulation and curriculum designing, Nepal is still not capable of addressing the large number of failures in English at all levels of its education system, every year.

In Nepal, ELT at all levels has been considered a lower status due to a number of factors such as lack of appropriate textbooks, qualified teachers, adequate supplementary materials and audio visual aids, physical facilities and suitable environment GIRI, ; TAYLOR, Given Nepal's multi-ethnic linguistic diversities, its language policy needs to be pluralistic in scope.

There should be a balanced approach in language policies, mother tongues of minority and indigenous communities, along with global languages- English, Hindi, Chinese, and others. Nepal needs to avoid its past one nation one language policy not only to sustain its rich linguistic diversities but also to maximize economic gains through linguistic and cultural heritages of its multi-ethnic societies in a globalized world. In this era of globalization, a society that has access to multilingual and multicultural resources can have advantages in its ability to play an important social and economic role on the global stage.

Moreover, without multilingual practices, a child's right to education through mother-tongue cannot be ensured in multilingual contexts like South-East Asia. As both minority and heritage languages continue to struggle for recognition and preservation, multilingual practices are also equally important for preserving indigenous communities and their heritages from being extinct.

There is an urgent need for respecting our diverse culture and language heritages by instigating them into the children through education.

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Nonetheless, globalization is influencing mother-tongue education to different extents in different countries. For example, China has experienced unprecedented economic reform and social changes; therefore, the mother tongue education for both Han people and minority groups has been challenged. Additionally, English has made bilingual and multilingual education more complex and difficult to manage.

Globalization brought about more awareness of the values of indigenous cultures and mother tongues. Meanwhile, it also has brought about the challenges such as the place of English. These cases suggest that it is essential for educators and policy-makers in each nation to reshape the evolution of national language policies in such a way that the rights of all citizens to education in their own mother-tongues should be respected, and the social, cultural, and linguistic resources of multi-ethnic and diverse societies can be sustained and preserved.

The cases also call for the UNESCO or other international organizations to further investigate the patterns of language education in many other countries and develop programs that help them to tap their rich linguistic and cultural heritages for betterment societies and nations in the global era. English takes hold in Afghanistan. Afghanistan indigenous languages are in the verge of extinction , Democracy in a multilingual and multicultural society.

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    Multilingualism within Nation States and the Danger of Separation | Hausarbeiten publizieren

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    The Notion of Language Policy and Planning The notion of language policy and planning emerged in the early 19 th century along with the concept of a nation-state, "when one language one nation ideology" was prominent. By emphasizing the importance of mother-tongue, it was stated: Mother-tongue instruction should be the best way for children to learn as it bridges the gap between home language and language of instruction.

    Every language is sufficient enough to give high cognitive skills to its users and there are no major or minor languages. Therefore, mother-tongue instruction should be extended as long as possible. A LinguaFranca or a language of wider communication cannot be a substitute for the mother-tongue, and it should be avoided until the child fully acquired their mother-tongue UNESCO, , p. The Concept of Multilingual Education In regard to multilingualism and multiculturalism, globalization has become the most significant and widely used term over the past few decades, implying contradictory forces of global homogenization and local hybridity; and global domination and local resistance AMMON, Some Case Studies of Multilingual Policies of South-East-Asia In the past few decades, many programs have been launched by nationstates to honor their rich and diverse linguistic heritages of indigenous, minorities and tribal communities, and preserve them for the future generations.

    By referring to the multiethnic and linguistic diversity of the Himalayan region, Mark Turin writes: The greater Himalayan region, which extends for 3, km from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east, sustains over million people and is home to great linguistic diversity and many of Asia's most endangered languages.

    Moving across the region in alphabetical order, Afghanistan boasts 47 living languages, Bangladesh is home to 39, Bhutan has 24, China, , India, , Myanmar, , Nepal, , and Pakistan, The entire Himalayan region is often described as one of the ten biodiversity 'mega centers' of the world. This stretch of mountainous Asia is also home to one-sixth of all human languages, so the area should be thought of as a linguistic and cultural 'mega centre' as well, and an important site for the common heritage of humanity p. The Article 16 of the Constitution also recognizes some other local languages, in addition to the two official languages-Pashto and Dari of Afghanistan: From amongst Pashto, Dari, Uzbeki, Turkmani, Baluchi, Pachaie, Nuristani, Pamiri, and other current languages in the country, Pashto and Dari shall be the official languages of the state.