[EDLING:202] : Re: L2 in US Schools

Richard Barwell Richard.Barwell at BRISTOL.AC.UK
Fri May 14 16:32:47 UTC 2004

Yes, the experience from Germany resonates. I'm an Anglophone from the
UK (who speaks three other languages quite well). I spent three years
working in Pakistan and one awareness I developed was that
multilingualism is pretty everyday for most people in the world.
Different villages used different languages in the region in which I
lived and the country as a whole used both English and Urdu in different
official situations on top of the various local languages. For most
people in the world, such a situation is banal! Indeed banal also for
many citizens of the US, UK and other supposedly monoglot nations. So
another way of asking the question is: why is popular opinion in the UK,
and apparently the US, in denial about the multilingual nature of
society? Even though both their leaders are bilinguals???

I wonder what would have happened if the visitor had been Vincente Fox
and the question asked in Spanish? Would W have reacted in the same way?

Richard Barwell

Richard Barwell
Graduate School of Education
University of Bristol
35 Berkeley Square
Bristol, BS8 1JA, UK
+44 (0)117 33 14276

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