Bilingualism and Multiculturalism Essay Example

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Bilingualism entails the ability of a person to use two or more languages. It is the application of at least two languages by a person. Multiculturalism, on the other hand, the entails the state of the world or a society holding many cultures that interacts in some important ways with each other. Multiculturalism is the co-existence of different cultures with culture including cultural, religious or racial groups. In Australian and New Zealand context, multiculturalism and bilingualism is a detailed and systematic response to ethnic and cultural diversity (Courtney & Smith, 2010). The two nations give multiculturalism and bilingualism a special attention because it comprises of a widespread effort to cope with diversity.

The multiculturalism and bilingual policies in Australia and New Zealand are founded on a contractual and civic definition of citizenship instead of cultural and ethnic communitarianism. Therefore, multiculturalism and bilingualism in Australia and New Zealand are respected and subsumed under the nations’ constitution. In Australia and New Zealand, Multiculturalism and bilingualism is officially marked by the declaration of multicultural policy by the central government. This also applies in Canada. Although there are similar shifts regarding multiculturalism in the United States, the U.S does not hold an official policy of multiculturalism at the federal level. Although, the United States and Canada supports cultural diversity through developing multiculturalism policy, in the United States, multiculturalism is closed associated with bilingual education (Courtney & Smith, 2010). However, in lower levels of government such as cities and states, there is a broad range of multiculturalism policies. Canada is a source of identification and pride among majority English Canadians. Although Australia and Canada adopted a model of multiculturalism policy, not all groups in the two nations support the multicultural policy adopted by the central governments. For instance, Australia comprises of one indigenous populace, which was later populated by waves of immigrant populace. Canada, on the other hand, has numerous indigenous populations that include French and English. The two founding populations hold political implications on multiculturalism policy in Canada.


Courtney, J., & Smith, D.(2010). The oxford handbook of Canadian politics. USA: OUP.