A language is an essential tool for communication purposes. It is used for promoting peace and order in society. It is used for displaying authority and power, and for the obtainment of goals and objectives. However, language can also be destructive to society if it is used inappropriately. Language must be used following the conformity that governs the society so that conflicts can be avoided and the boundary of individual differences can be met. According to the framework of NCERT (2005),
“English in India today is a symbol of people’s aspirations for quality in education and fuller participation in national and international life … The level of introduction of English has now become a matter of political response to people’s aspirations, rendering almost irrelevant an academic debate on the merits of a very early introduction.”
Diversity means a combination of different social backgrounds, races, cultures, ethnicity, gender, religion, and different languages. Diversity is seen in the classroom too. Diversity in the classroom may even be related to the varying intellectual abilities and social skills of the students. Having diversity in the classroom helps students understand each other’s culture, language, ethnicity, religion, etc. Through diversity, a new perspective will be brought into the classroom. Linguistic diversity refers to the difference between languages and cultural diversity refers to the difference in cultures. In a classroom, learners belonging to different cultures who speak different languages may be present.
India is a diverse nation where people belonging to different religions, cultures, social backgrounds, and the like reside. It is a secular nation.
Importance Of Linguistic Diversity and Cultural Diversity
By fostering education for understanding diversity and different cultures of India in the classroom:
Understanding of Different Cultures
Students will have an understanding of their classmate’s cultures. They will learn about each other’s cultural backgrounds and have compassion for it.
Students will not feel left out or as being treated unequally. They will feel a sense of belongingness in the classroom and school.
Understanding of Diversity
It helps in giving students a deeper understanding of diversity. This will help the students in broadening their knowledge about cultural differences.
Observance of Holidays
Students will understand the holiday traditions of each culture and why it is celebrated. They will be encouraged to celebrate the different cultures represented in the classroom.
Students will feel more comfortable and safe inside as well as outside the classroom.
Students will feel more confident in themselves as well as while interacting with their peers.
Develops Mutual Respect
Students will grow up to be open-minded, treat everyone equally, and have empathy for others irrespective of race, religion, culture, etc.
Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in the classroom will help students learn from each other as well as help the students in their personal development. For a teacher to teach effectively and for students to work as a team, understanding each other in every aspect is essential. This will lead to healthy relationships among the classmates and a good atmosphere in the classroom.