Edited By Martin Pütz
The Cultural Context in Foreign Language Teaching will interest students of educational linguistics and language pedagogy, intercultural communication and discourse analysis.
Section 4: Language and education in multilingual communities 185
Section 4: Language and education in multilingual communities This page intentionally left blank Teaching the emergent culture of an official English in South Africa Christa van der Walt l. Introduction In a paper presented at the South African Applied Linguistics Association Con- gress in July of 1995, Joseph lo Bianco described the demise of the classic na- tion-state and the role of migration in world economy. He concludes his discus- sion ofthe European Union as follows (1995: 14): Deeply rooted in the classic European sense of the nation is the belief that multilingualism is impractical and that the inexorable pattern of development was for its replacement by normative national cultures expressed in unitary language systems. Such an ideology is comprehensively under challenge and not only from moral positions or from contest by minorities. Monolingualism is progressively dysfunctional to the self-interest of the nation states constructed partly on its logic. Most academics working in the field of multiculturalism will probably agree with these statements but at the same time they will recognize that monolingualism and monoculturalism is still accepted as a "norm", if not by academics, at least by so-called first-world societies. In Der Spiegel of 4 March 1996 Hans-Ulrich Stoldt describes the circumstances in which newly returned Russian Germans from Kasachstan live in Ortenau in Baden (I will call them "returnees"). Two statements drew my attention: The Oberbiirgermeister of the city says, and this is printed in attention-grabbing, bold letters, that some of the returnees lack the willingness ("innere Bereitschaft"...
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