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ERIC Number: EJ902178
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1030-8385
Some Ideas about Multilingualism and National Identity
Bianco, Joseph Lo
TESOL in Context, v20 n1 p22-36 Sep 2010
In this paper I argue that linguistic diversity is one of the most common characteristics of human history, so much so that it could be considered a "natural" characteristic of humanity (Skutnalb-Kangas, Maffi, & Harmon, 2003). Linguistic diversity combines with interaction among human groups and, in this combination, is produced bilingualism (I use this term as a shorthand for multiple language skill) and other modes of communicating across our differences. Bilingualism, understood here as functioning in more than one language, in which many individuals and most groups use more than one linguistic code for communication, is usually organised purposively. This means that communication skills are differentiated according to purpose, function, or interlocutor. This combination of multiple languages meshed with diverse purposes makes for a very complex pattern of language capabilities and usage.
Australian Council of TESOL Associations. P.O. Box 2019, Smithfield, New South Wales 2164, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A