Malta: A Functional Bilingual Society. An analysis of societal and individual bilingualism

University essay from Malmö universitet/Fakulteten för kultur och samhälle (KS)

Abstract: With the rich history of territorial conquest on the island of Malta, each regime has left its mark on the small archipelago, especially with each linguistic conquest, a new language was formed, influenced and fortified to what we know now as Maltese. Within this thesis we will identify the factors of these regimes which have led Malta to become a bilingual nation. This thesis investigates the Maltese language situation along with the status of the social and individual characteristics the theories of bilingualism adhere. In order to address how Malta has become a functional bilingual society, theoretical measures of both societal and individual bilingualism will be explored. The thesis applies research methodology with special participation of University students and staff from the University of Malta. Together they help bring insight in answering just how Maltese and English are encouraged in the Maltese social strata. It shows just how it is maintained individually by understanding the environmental mechanisms put in place by the Maltese government as well as how it is encouraged at home. Furthermore, it explains how the policies help the languages continue to coexist and form a functional bilingual society.

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