Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language, Literature, Culture and Education 2016

The Role Multilingual Ability Can Play in Promoting Identity; Culture and Global Citizenship

Zandile Matshaya

University of Western Cape, South Africa


My research is an explorative study that examines the discourse around multilingual individuals and how their multifarious identities and cultures foster their global citizenship. Globalisation is an integrating mechanism that synthesizes world systems and blurs national boundaries. Its effects are unavoidable to governance and the economy and like all capital catalysts; globalisation creates dichotomies between the rich and poor; the powerful and the weak. Keeping with the principles of natural rights and the promises of an ideal democracy, the role of multilinguals has become a force of necessity to mitigate and often soften the blow of globalisation in developing/marginalised democratic countries. Since multilinguals are individuals who acclimatize well to change; possess a vast network of knowledge and are able to understand and accept ‘the other’ – they should be architects that drive and navigate the world to the ideal global community. The study is a systemic literature review that applies an interpretivist approach by analysing secondary data in the form of desktop content obtained through qualitative research. The interconnectedness of language, identity and culture is often responsible in how we perceive, negotiate and govern the world.


Multilingualism, global citizenship, global community, identity, culture

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