Let me bust a prevalent urban myth: You do not need to be bi- or multilingual to become a linguist. There, busted. In fact, being bilingual initially brought me to a crossroads where I was nearly denied access to the academic pathway I am embarking on today. In Australia, despite native-like English proficiency, my migrant background dictated that I visit ESL classes throughout primary school; during secondary school in Switzerland, my Australian passport resulted in obligatory participation in Deutsch als Fremdsprache classes [German as a foreign language]. This ironic situation of seemingly being deemed ‘not good enough’ at either nation’s language of instruction initially crushed my hopes of being recommended for Gymnasium – the main entry ticket to tertiary education in Switzerland. Fortunately, thanks to a loophole or two, and an additional entry exam, my teachers were able to grant me the much desired recommendation. Without it, I would not have had the opportunity to undertake an academic pathway. Undoubtedly, mine is not the only story influenced by language learning trajectories.
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)