Thursday, October 03, 2013

Is monolingualism real?

"...we have to ask if the term monolingual has anything more than an academic and ideological significance." - Canagarajah 2012.

Am I wrong to identify as monolingual? I spent the first 15 years of my life completely immersed in English, with foreign languages in tiny snippets for interesting diversions. I studied Spanish as an academic subject in high school and somehow got through my entire 10+ years of higher education with only one semester of Spanish. I did live and work in a Chinese-language environment for 2 years and greatly increased my knowledge of another language at that time -- but I simply do not see my background has having been anything other than monolingual.

Will think more about this. I think monolingualism has some interesting analagous paralellels to the idea of whiteness (plus they are often connected in tacit -- or blunt -- English-Only-ism). This could be interesting to explore someday.

No comments: