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

Issue: Vol 2 No. 3 (2008) Monolingualism

Journal: Sociolinguistic Studies

Subject Areas: Gender Studies Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/sols.v2i3.347


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: Michael Clyne

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