Bilingualism and multilingualism are often perceived and considered as a problem or a major challenge to individual and/or societal development. In most instances, the only advantage recognized for the bilingual individual is the ability to use two or more languages. Beyond that, monolingualism seems more attractive, and monolinguals especially those speaking a language of wider communication seem quite content with their lot, often adopting a condescending attitude toward minority native speakers of a mother tongue who in addition have to acquire their language. Adepts of the ideology of monolingual habitus (one nation, one language) have tended to consider multilingualism and linguistic diversity as a curse and an obstacle to nation building. This chapter argues against the above ideology through a compendium of empirical evidence of advantages of individual bilingualism, societal multilingualism, and linguistic diversity of nations that emerge from research findings in the last several decades.
Part of the book: Multilingualism and Bilingualism
Rural multilingualism in the platform of radio broadcasting is a complex sociolinguistic phenomenon that can, if not strategically managed it can lead to chaos and societal conflict especially in a rural setting with intergenerational migrants co-existing. This study examines the languages used by the four rural radios in Kumbo, a rural area in the North West Region of Cameroon, during multilingual broadcasting. It presents findings on the languages used during multilingual broadcasting as well as how they are managed. Here, we bring to mind the importance of multilingual broadcasting practice in rural communities especially in Cameroon, and Kumbo where nothing has been done in this domain. The data used were collected through the use of 118 questionnaires (100 for the radio audience and 18 for the radio staffs), “conversational‟ interviews with the radio staffs and 2 focus group discussions. The data were analyzed using the SPSS and Content Analyses models. Being a multidisciplinary study, there were two theoretical frameworks employed from two inter-related disciplines. They are the Social Responsibility Theory which accounts for the things needed to be done by journalists to satisfy and provide their audience with accurate information and the Communicative Competence Theory which deals with the effectiveness of the messages broadcast in line with the respect of the structures of these languages to communicate effectively. The first theory is in line with the field of Journalism while the second is within the field of Linguistics. It was discovered that there are eight (8) languages used by all radios houses. Six (6) are national languages of the country and two (2) are the official languages of the country. Out of the national languages used, four (Cameroon Pidgin English, Fulfulde, Lamnso) are used for wider communication, three (Limbum, Noni/Noone and Oku) are developing while one (Hausa) is dispersed.
Part of the book: Multilingualism