Sustainable multilingualism as an essential characteristic of multicultural societies: the case of Australia

Hatoss, Aniko (2005) Sustainable multilingualism as an essential characteristic of multicultural societies: the case of Australia. In: Language, Attitudes and Education in Multilingual Cities, 27-29 May 2004, Brussels, Belgium.


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This paper argues that multicultural societies cannot be sustainable if they do not embrace multilingualism as an essential and embedded element of multiculturalism. Multilingualism is a crucial desideratum for multicultural societies who wish not only to ‘manage’ diversity, but also use diversity as a resource and a key element of social capital. The discussion in this paper takes place in the context of Australian communities. There are essentially two aspects of sustainability to discuss in this context: (1) the maintenance of the linguistic diversity that is present in a multicultural society: this involves the maintenance of indigenous languages and immigrant languages; and (2) the development of multilingual skills in the wider Australian society. The concept of sustainability provides a theoretical framework and it is presented with the purpose of opening up discussions across various multicultural and multilingual contexts.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Deposited with permission of publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:47
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: multilingualism and multiculturalism in Australia, minority languages, immigrant languages, language maintenance and shift, sustainability and language policy
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2004 Linguistics > 200405 Language in Culture and Society (Sociolinguistics)

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