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Multicultural And Multilingual Perspectives In Early Childhood
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The study sheds light on “multiculturalism in Australia” and identifies the key challenges that refugee families and children faced in Australia because of the “White Australian policy”. It discusses the “history of multiculturalism” in the mentioned country. Multiculturalism is the concept of delivering multi-culture and supporting non-European and migrant groups to get equal opportunities and rights in Australian society. Along with this, it focuses on driving effective strategies to support migrant families to take participate in the education system of Australia.
History of Multiculturalism in Australia
“Multiculturalism in Australia” refers to the multi-culture that supports numerous distinct ethnic and cultural policies promoting different backgrounds in society. It is a policy that focuses on driving ethno cultural diversity in Australia. In 1973, Australia's approaches to forming the state and the nation on government policies and legislation which help the migrant groups to follow their own culture in the Australian society and remove the law of the “White Australia Policy” from the country (\homeaffairs.gov.au, 2022). It is an act formed in 1901 to make restrictions on immigrant people. The policy prohibited Non-European immigration in Australia and increased racial discrimination in the country. The policy banned the Non-European people's cultures and allows them to follow the Australian culture in the country. Later in 1973, the “White Australia Policy” has been banned by the ministry of the Australian government to promote the survival of the migrant people within the country (Hlavac et al. 2018). After removing this policy, the government realized that most of the Non-European people do not rely on the English language through which they face a lot of difficulty in the country to live everyday life. The government of Australia decided to promote ethnic and multi-culture in the society to provide a better experience of settlement to the migrant peoples within the country (Wilding & Nunn, 2018). In order to start multiculturalism in Australia, firstly the parliament decided to promote all the essential factors that will derive multiculturalism in the country. Regarding this, in 1975, the prime minister introduced a law “Racial Discrimination Act” to prohibit the discrimination of people on the basis of color, race, ethnicity, diversity, etc. It was the first time that the government takes the area of multicultural as its first priority. At the end of the 19th century, the government decided to bring multiculturalism to the country at the beginning of the 20th Century.
In the year1999, NMAC's report was launched by the Australian government to start Multiculturalism in Australia in the new century. After that, the government formed a new agenda for delivering multicultural policy in the country properly (Edensor & Sumartojo, 2018). Then the first confirmed statement of the multicultural policy arrived in the government regulation and legislation in May 2003. After that many years have been taken to set some rules and regulations regarding multiculturalism in order to launch the policy in the country. In April 2010, the regulatory body AMAC gives a view on the cultural policy to derive it in the country on the behalf of the non-European people or immigrant groups. Finally, in February 2011, the “multicultural policy” has been launched in Australia to provide equal access to immigrant groups in the country to allow them to follow their own culture in society. The multicultural policy is made on the basis of driving the benefit to the immigrant people in whom the outsider people can follow their own cultures with different cultures of Australia in the society (Majavu, 2018). It derives value from the cultural tradition to support the ethnicity, diversity, and well-being of non-European groups. The main purpose of this policy is to promote equality for the migrant group by providing equal access to opportunity in comparison to what Australian people get. The policy is made to prohibit discrimination in every field because everyone has the equal right to live a life of their own will. It supports individual rights in language, education, culture, traditions, and opportunity (Saha, 2019). Multiculturalism in Australia depends on national unity where all citizens are provided with equal and fair treatment whether they are Australian or non-European people. It is a commitment to make the country culturally diverse and brings a democratic institution in which outsider’s people need to be treated with equal respect.
Key issues and challenges
The biggest issue regarding multiculturalism is the diversity of the culture that mainly affected Australian citizens. According to the yearly graph, 60% of the citizens lack work experience, 33% of the citizens have language difficulties, 23% of the citizens lack networks and local contacts, and 15% of the citizens had faced difficulties in identifying their skills and respective qualification (humanrights.gov.au, 2022). The multicultural in Australia reflected the multicultural composition of their citizens involving immigration policies. Along with this, multicultural used to affect the Australian citizen by prohibiting respective discrimination, various cultural policies, as well as the proper equality before the implication of the individual law for all the people of the residents. Multiculturalism occurs due to common cultural differences, such as education, generation, religion, cultural behavior, etc. In addition, the cultural issue occurs due to the conflicts with goals, culture, gender, disability, and the system respectively. The biggest major issue regarding the multiculturalism in Australia is the undermining of the respective notion of equal individual rights in order to weaken the ethnic and racial groups respectively.
The Australian multicultural policy runs on the four key principles implemented by the government that is fair access, valuing diversity, encouraging the respective diversity, and responsibilities. The different challenges that are faced by multicultural in Australia are the ineffective communication, direct and the indirect communication, racial discrimination, cultural differences, power, hierarchy, and decision-making respectively. It mostly used to affect the education system by making the differences between the religions that the lower cast people cannot put their children in the high-class school in order to get them a higher-level education (Vora et al. 2019). Another one is at the workplace, the people used to ignore their co-workers because of the different cultures that used to create the discrimination between them. In addition, this creates a lack of building positive relationships with other colleagues, a lack of understanding, language barriers, etc. Some other challenges that are faced by the diverse families are a lack of respect, a lack of cultural understanding, and the lack of the respective cultural understanding regarding their dreams and hope.
The parents from the other culture also faced the cultural issue such as the language barrier as they do not have the knowledge of proper English speaking. Multiculturalism used to affect the family by setting different restrictions on them such as a broadened outlook and by providing the global perspective that mainly used to serve them well throughout their lives respectively. The culture is used to influence the children about their background and appearance from birth. As the customs, expressions, religion, beliefs, and religion mainly affect the journey by developing physically, socially, linguistically, and emotionally (Modood, 2019). The communication challenges that are mainly faced by the cultural issues are stereotyping, language barriers, conflicting values, ethnocentrism, psychological barriers, and the geographical distance respectively. The different respective examples of the “cultural barriers” to communication are education, nationality, personal background, work experience, language, ethnicity, and different approaches.
An effective strategy that is used to mitigate the cultural differences are promotion the of open communication in society, accommodating the cultural difference, sharing their respective vision and common causes, leading to individual cultural diversity, etc. The best way to mitigate the conflict created due to the cultural differences is that the individual should listen to the other cultural people in order to understand them properly (Ermasova, 2021). Another different strategy for dealing with multiculturalism is that people should plan the projects according to the different time zone at the workplace, and should organize cross-cultural training in order to mitigate the cultural difference at the school and collages, should consider the different communication styles in order to overcome the language barriers and should avoid the stereotypes. This strategy helps to mitigate the cultural differences in the society, community, workplace, and education sectors respectively.
It is necessary to understand the cultural difference and respective societies in order to influence them about the right direction and decision. In addition, this strategy mainly enables “effective participation” in contemporary society that helps to create the respective values, skills, and understanding regarding the cultural difference. It is important very important to respect other cultures, hence it help to dispel both negative stereotypes and personal biases (Simi?, 2020). Along with this, the cultural diversity helps people to respect and recognize that helps them to interact with others in order to build a respective bridge of trust, understanding regarding the cultures, and respect.
Due to the “White Australia Policy”, immigrant groups face a lot of difficulties in surviving in the country because of the restrictions of this act. The misconception of this law formed “multilingual development” in the educational environment which forced immigrant’s children to learn the national language of Australia (English) to follow the Australian culture at the early stage of development of children. The children were required with no option and forcefully need to learn English languages and adopt different cultures at a very low age to be in the country (Pietsch, 2019). This policy hardly affects the well-being of the students and created many barriers for the children in the educational environment. It becomes very difficult for immigrant groups of students to perform well in education because of cultural differences. The multicultural policy helps to break the cultural differences and discrimination in society as well as the educational areas to promote equality and diversity in the country. However, multiculturalism is beneficial for the country but also there are many challenges and issues which are crucially faced by the people due to the multi-culture in the country (Leviston et al. 2020). Language difference is one of the most common challenges seen in the country because people and students have to learn two languages at a time to communicate with Australian people whose native language is English.
The study concludes with overall knowledge about “multiculturalism in Australia” to end the barriers of cultural differences in the country. It included the history of this policy is get ideas about the time when it was launched in the country. It also focuses on the benefits of multicultural policy as well as the challenges faced in multiculturalism. It describes the “White Australian Policy” that raises cultural difference and prohibits immigrant people to follow their own culture. It sheds light on all the areas of cultural differences and problems of outsider people. The main aim of this study is to provide equal treatment and opportunity to immigrant people through the process of multiculturalism in society.
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