Mother Tongue Language In A Multilingual Society

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Topic: A person should be able to choose his or her own mother tongue language in a multilingual society (Singapore). Thesis: Singapore is a multilingual society where mother tongues are state assigned based on race. One should not be pigeonholed into a specific mother tongue based on the social group they were born into, but be able to decide which they are more suited for. The supporting reasons are: 1. People born into multilingual environments should not be pigeonholed into a single mother tongue. In this context, their affiliation and inclination to certain languages may be stronger than the one supposedly inherited. (Rampton, 1995) 2. The globalization of languages has shifted the importance of some and brought to contention others. (Bolton, Ng, 2014) Hence, language status in today’s world is no longer static. Overview: Those born into multilingual societies should have autonomy over their second languages, rather than be coerced into a single template. Singapore’s multilingual environment has led to the implementation of a state-assigned official mother tongue language based on ethnic group (Wee, 2006). Wee (2006) agrees that the state’s mother tongue policy maintains the notion of multiculturalism through their roles as cultural anchors. Tan (2014) concurs that the maintenance of distinct cultures in a multilingual society through different mother tongue languages. Yet, the notion that one’s mother tongue language should only be acquired through genetic
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