Al Athar مجلة الأثـــــــــــــــر
Volume 15, Numéro 26, Pages 23-26

Is Bilingualism A Handicap Or Facilitation?

Authors : Yahia Fatima .

Abstract

The term communication, with its variant dimensions, lies in the world’s different nations and communities. It is created by people’s universal experiences of meeting and living in communities of different linguistic codes. Being a good communicator involves the realization of the equation of being a bilingual. Bilinguals are persons whose linguistic ability in two languages is similar to that of the native speaker. However, language alone is not the only arm needed in the field of code switching since culture has its great share in the operation. Thus, a bilingual must have the linguistic resources and social strategies to affiliate with many different cultures and ways of using language. Hence, isn’t bilingualism a sign of the acceptance of language diversity and cultural pluralism (in a multicultural world)? Isn’t it a way to abandon one’s own language loyalty – one’s identity and rejection of the ancestral culture? On the one hand, through bilingualism, a bilingual feels socially and cognitively enriched by an additional language (the spread of intercultural sense). On the other hand, a bilingual may fall in the trap of anomia ( the suffering from a feeling of social uncertainty or dissatisfaction ) as it is widely believed that there is a natural connection between the language spoken by members of a social group and that group’s identity: by their accent, vocabulary, and their discourse patterns. Despite of the fact that a bilingual may live in a state of flux of losing or keeping one’s identity (the individual’s sense of the self), the world’s communities have to bear the slogan of ‘the dialogue of cultures’.

Keywords

communication, bilingualism, language, cultural pluralism, identity, a bilingual.