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What is Minorities & Multilingualism?
Globalisation is readily increasing in today’s world. Select any global brand from Starbucks to Facebook and the chances are you will see or feel their presence in most countries around the world. To many people, globalisation seems like a positive development, symbolizing modernity, unification, employment, and technology. But plenty of others hold it responsible for the loss of cultural diversity, language and identity or the westernization of society. Whether or not this newly globalised world is advantageous, the rapid pace of globalisation raises a more interesting question. If humans have had so many distinct cultures and languages throughout history, how will we fare in a world that is increasingly bringing together people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds and traditions?
For example, the individual culture and identity of multilingual minorities can clash with national culture and identity, resulting in
dilemmas and questions: should children in minority groups be taught in their native language or not? How multicultural can a society be? Why should immigrants integrate? In order to get an understanding of these diverse, culturally rooted attitudes and behaviors, we need to study languages. Language is the essential medium in which the ability to communicate across culture develops. There are huge international differences between policies pursued on language and culture, in education for instance, and opportunities for people from minorities can vary greatly. Specialists in minorities and multilingualism study and analyse these aspects. Their work combines disciplines such as, linguistics, anthropology, cultural history and sociolinguistics. Graduates in this field will be able to compare minority cultures and languages and make recommendations on the measures needed to stimulate positive and discourage negative developments.
Is this the programme
Are you interested in cultures and politics? In languages and communication? Or in cultural differences between groups of people? Or are you more interested in one specific minority language? If so, the Bachelor’s degree programme in Minorities & Multilingualism is the right programme for you. You will learn about the languages and cultures of minorities in modern western societies, both nationally and internationally.
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Why don’t we all speak English?
Multilingualism makes people smarter. Is this true or not? How does multilingualism affect the brain? How can you stop multilingual children from falling behind at school? What is the best strategy for learning a foreign language? These are examples of questions you will come across in the course Multilingualism in your first year. You will learn how to advise the government about language issues in education and weigh up the pros and cons of ‘introducing’ a single global language, such as English. What are the implications for our identity, knowledge and culture?
English is the world’s dominant language and it may look as if almost the entire world is on the verge of becoming monolingual English. But upon closer inspection, you will see that multilingualism is actually a very common phenomenon.
What is Minorities &