Description of Linguistic Ecology
In Australia, the English language is entrenched as the official language used in communication (McGregor, 2013). Ostensibly, it differs slightly from other languages both in spelling and grammar (McGregor, 2013). In accordance to a census conducted in 2016, English is spoken by 70% of the population followed by Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Italian (Gwynn, 2012). In Singapore, according to the constitution, the four frequently used languages are English (36.9) %, Mandarin (34.9) %, Malay (10.7) %, and Tamil 93.3) %. (Bunce and Rapatahana, 2012). Malay is the main official language used in Singapore other than English; the other three languages were used in order to correspond to the ethnic groups present at the time (Bunce and Rapatahana, 2012).
How Non-Official Languages is Recognized and Supported
In Australia, programs such as Cross-Cultural Training Program, Australian Second Language Program, and Language Testing Units have been formulated to support and recognize non-official languages in the nation (Bianco, 1990). The Cross-Cultural Training Program aims at introducing different activities such as games that aids in the coming together of people from different cultures. Similarly, when different cultures are taught in schools, Language Testing Units helps in setting a standardized examination for people studying about different cultures. Moreover, international bodies are formed to monitor the development and implementation of policy involving the national government as well as multicultural issues (Bianco, 1990). Similarly, in Singapore, although Malay is the official language used, the ministry of education in Singapore emphasizes heavily on English because it is the language of technology, science, commerce, and education (Bunce and Rapatahana, 2012). Additionally, the knowledge of non-official language aids in communication among individuals and therefore people from different cultures will interact as well as share businesses ideas hence the economy of a nation will improve (Bunce and Rapatahana, 2012). In essence, in both countries, there are measures kept in place to recognize and support non-official languages.
How Multi Language is used in Education Sector
In Australia, multiple languages have been incorporated in the education sector to enable students to participate in various activities involving different languages. Additionally, the switching between languages improves the level of students` reading, thinking, and creativity which enables them to develop a flexible approach towards problem-solving activities (Herrriman, 1996). Scholars are also able to acquire more employment opportunities compared to the monolingual adults. Multiple languages are of significant help in the education sector and therefore should be recognized, supported, and promoted. Similarly, in Singapore, the government has kept in place innovative programs to promote foreign languages. Some of the programs include training a child a second language while they are still young since they are at a better chance of grasping knowledge within a short duration of time.
Bianco, J. L. (1990). Making language policy: Australia’s experience. In Language planning and education in Australasia and the South Pacific (pp. 47–79). Philadelphia: Clevedon.
Bunce, P., and Rapatahana, V. 2012. English Language as Hydra: it’s Impact on Non-English Language Culture. Short Run Press.
Gwynn, M. Australian Census: Language overview. WordPress Publishers, 2012.
Herriman, M. L., & Burnaby, B. (1996). Language Policies in English-Dominant Countries: Six Case Studies. British Library Cataloguing.
McGregor, W. B. 2013. The Languages of the Kimberley, Western Australia. RoutledgCurzon Publishers.