TOLERANCE IN LANGUAGE DIVERSITY AS A DEMONSTRATION OF GOOD GOVERNANCE

AUTHOR: OBIEZE, JULIANA N.

FROM: THE DIGNITY OF A FRENCH TEACHER: CELEBRATING PROF. JULIE AGBASIERE

Governing a country effectively also entails the ability to maintain adequate grassroot information, communication flow and cordial relationship, not only within the citizenry, but also with other countries and international bodies. Today’s notion of the world becoming one global village imports the idea of language generalization and globalization. This in itself connotes interlinguistic competences in which multiculturalism and multilingualism are buttressed, as can be seen in many world cities and countries like Canada and Nigeria. Nigeria, for example, despite her multi-ethnicity and diverse language use, has remained one sovereign nation, tolerant of both local and foreign languages in her language policy, such that language barrier does not constitute a hindrance to her good governance. This submission elaborates on how the use, tolerance and accommodation of diversified language, including use of foreign language (French language in particular) demonstrate an act of good governance, emphasizing their significance to both the government and the citizens. Furthermore, the paper recommends the need for a well structured bilingual education programs and bilingual schools to facilitate study of languages and to promote “peace, order and good` government” as the Canadian Motto has it.

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