The monolingual mindset as an impediment to the development of plurilingual potential in Australia

Authors

  • Michael Clyne University of Melbourne

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.v2i3.347

Keywords:

multilingualism, language policy, language attitudes

Abstract

This article shows how the monolingual mindset of many decision makers in fields such as education detracts from Australia’s capacity to develop its potential in plurilingualism. It contrasts the projection of monolingualism as the desired norm with the linguistic diversity within the Australian community. A number of fallacious clichés are discussed critically and attributed to the monolingual mindset – The overcrowded curriculum, competing literacies, the ‘unfair advantage’ of students with a home background in a language which they are studying, and the sufficiency of global English. It is suggested that more plurilinguals are needed in decision making roles.

Author Biography

Michael Clyne, University of Melbourne

Honorary Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne Emeritus Professor, Monash University

Published

2008-12-11

How to Cite

Clyne, M. (2008). The monolingual mindset as an impediment to the development of plurilingual potential in Australia. Sociolinguistic Studies, 2(3), 347–366. https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.v2i3.347

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