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The multilingual child - Challenging our society to change their monolingual mindset

Tales at Home Expert meeting Brussels

The reality of a multicultural society is no longer a point of discussion, but the way we approach multiculturalism is. The impact of our monolingual mind-set is stronger than we think. We approach and judge multilinguals as if they were monolinguals, but they are not. They have their own multicompetent knowledge, which cannot be arranged within monolingual guidelines. Our challenge is to change the society’s (monolingual) mind-set into a large (multilingual) vision.

The society has to consider the multilingual language acquisition, take into account the large general vocabulary and thus knowledge, deal with language mixing and code switching and recognise the importance of the home language. The status of a language has also to be reconsidered and shouldn’t only lean on economic motives, but also on values as communication and knowledge transfer.

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