bilingual communities

bilingual communities
   In Britain, bilingualism exists in those areas where linguistic minorities are present, usually as a result of historical and political changes. The Swann Report in 1985 revealed that there are at least twelve main languages in Britain, each involving over 100,000 speakers. However, because of the uniformity of the educational system in England and the existence of regulatory bodies which give an impression of linguistic harmony and order, the English language continues to represent and enhance a mythical unity within Britain. Therefore, it is important to paint a more accurate picture by identifying the silenced languages. There are many examples of indigenous and ethnic languages which challenge the pervasive power of the English language. For example, since the rise of Welsh nationalism in the 1970s, the popularity of the Welsh language has continued to grow. Britain has also had well-established black, Chinese and Indian communities since the nineteenth century; specifically in London and port areas such as Liverpool and Cardiff. Furthermore, since the 1950s and due to economic and political reasons, people from West Africa, the Caribbean, India, Pakistan and Hong Kong have settled in Britain. Languages are closely tied to notions of identity; thus, migrating people brought languages and cultures to Britain as a way of rebuilding or replacing lost countries and communities, as has happened in Chinatown in London and in Liverpool.
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Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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