Discussion of the Importance of Multilingualism Among Yout South Africans

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Language is a system of representation that enables us to encode and convey meaning through the production and combination of signs. (Neves, 2011) Multilingualism can, therefore, be described as a person’s capability to maintain and practice two or more languages in an environment. This concept is quite commonly seen throughout South Africa as there is a total of eleven official languages. These languages are critical in today’s youth as they are exposed to a culturally diverse society which enables them to broaden their thinking in every-day life. Language within societies can be broken down into two categories, namely Linguistic Determinism and Linguistic Relativism. “Linguistic Determinism proposes that different languages incorporate radically different worldviews which ultimately determine how people think.” (Neves, 2011) This notion is vital in the youth of South African society today, seeing as South Africa is naturally so diverse with a wide variety of cultures. If this notion of “Linguistic Determinism” is proven to be true and we are capable of allowing our youth to learn and be exposed to all these languages including the ‘way of thinking’ that comes in hand with this experience, it can only result in brighter and stronger generations being brought through the ranks as they are then capable of picking up on all the strengths that can be found within each language. Just one of the many important characteristics that must be embraced by the youth. Unfortunately, language has the power to destroy unity within a community as seen during the Apartheid Era. The white population was a minority of the South African population while the remaining seventy-five percent was black. There was only one way to prevent cohesion withi... ... middle of paper ... ...rican youth to become multilingual as the importance and benefit will ensure more successful future generations. [901 Words] Bibliography Africa, S. S. (2012). Percentage of speakers per home language in South Africa (1996, 2001 and 2011). South African Home Language Percentage. South Africa, South Africa: Statistics South Africa. Louw, P. E. (1992). Language and National Unity in a Post-Apartheid South Africa. Critical Arts: A South-North Journal of Cultural & Media Studies - 02560046, Vol. 6, Issue 1. Retrieved from EBSCO Host. Neves, D. (2011). Language. In C. d. Leslie Swartz, Psychology: an Introduction (pp. 284,286,291). Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa. Olivier, J. (2009). Multilingualism in South Africa. South Africa. Sakai, K. L. (2005). Language Acquisition and Brain Development. Science, 815-819.

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