About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 390-395
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.0122
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Every single culture has its language due to which it functions and merely cannot exist. It serves not only as a guide for the individual to pass obstacles on the way to high cultural development, but it also helps to self-actualize in different spheres. Recently, scientists often emphasize the inextricable link between culture and its language. The changes in the cultural system's needs are regarded to provoke changes in the language. Therefore, the phenomena of multilingualism and monolingualism deserve special attention owing to active globalizing processes.

The emergence of multilingualism is considered to be a century phenomenon, meaning the use of three or more languages at once. Multilingualism has always been and remains necessary for the coexistence of various ethnic groups and cultures. However, it carries numerous contradictions and sometimes causes polar opinions: from alarmist greetings to fierce resistance and prejudice.

There are countries where the population's priority in studies is given to one of the most frequently used and promising languages in the future, which undoubtedly leads to the destruction of local minority languages. This article presents the possible transition prospects from multilingual societies to monolingual ones on the example of New Zealand and Mexico. The study also involves such analysed issues as historical factors that influenced the linguistic priority of the population, extralinguistic factors, including internal and external migration, linguistic discrimination and educational policy concerning minor languages.

Both countries share an array of similar historical events: the mass migration of Europeans, the brutal suppression of the local population and the cultural and linguistic discrimination of the indigenous tribes, the dominant role of the invaders' language with its subsequent predominance in all spheres of life. Unquestionably, the government's attempts to save endangered minority languages in both countries, in Mexico - 68 languages and New Zealand - the Maori language, are gaining some success. Nevertheless, in the long-term perspective, the population's desire to speak just the majority language prevails, in Mexico - Spanish, in New Zealand-a national variant of English. Despite current cultivation of the national minorities languages, the overwhelming majority knows only one language that leads to a transition from a multilingual to a monolingual society within a single widely spoken language.

The social survey was conducted as part of a research internship in 2019 basing on the Institute of Foreign Languages at RUDN University, Autonomous National University of Mexico and the University of Auckland. One hundred students were interviewed in each university from bachelor, undergraduate, postgraduate levels. The poll revealed the tendency of first courses students choice for Spanish and English programs. 90% of respondents confirmed the desire to use one popular language due to its wide scope of usage, high compatibility, vital career perspectives in comparison with the educational programs of minorities languages; 7% of students noted the need for educational programs in indigenous languages; 3% of interviewee – undecided on the answer.
Accordingly, the data from this social survey indicate a trend of abandonment among young people regarding education in indigenous languages, being one of many transition factors from a multilingual to a monolingual society within these countries.
Multilingualism, monolingualism, New Zealand English, Mexican Spanish, linguistic world picture, linguistic situation, autochthonous languages.