Definition of monolingual in English:



  • 1(of a person or society) speaking only one language.

    ‘monolingual families’
    • ‘She grew up in Soviet Moscow, a supposedly monolingual society, but she remembers noticing and being fascinated by the range of accents and speech patterns she heard.’
    • ‘Easier is to put all your languages on one blog, but then you risk confusing and possibly annoying monolingual readers, or of reducing one language to minority status.’
    • ‘This is true even for monolingual adults and young children who never learned any formal arithmetic.’
    • ‘He said it once in English, then translated it for his monolingual mate.’
    • ‘All the monolingual students, who comprised about 50% of the students, were placed in that class, with permission from their parents.’
    • ‘Very few people are now monolingual Welsh speakers, though I have met one or two in rural areas in central and northern Wales.’
    • ‘Many of us complain that most college students are monolingual.’
    • ‘As a country we are in danger of becoming monolingual.’
    • ‘The monolingual reader, free from vocabulary and prior knowledge demands, was able to concentrate on the interpretation and comprehension of the text as a whole.’
    • ‘Participants were all monolingual Japanese speakers from predominantly middle class families and attended school in a metropolitan region west of Tokyo.’
    • ‘How did a boy belonging to monolingual Britain get interested in a foreign language?’
    • ‘The monolingual Spanish minority still constitute much of the elite, and Spanish is used more widely than Guaraní in urban areas.’
    • ‘Over 90% of Paraguayans are estimated to speak Guaraní, with about 40% of the population monolingual in Guaraní.’
    • ‘Most residents are more comfortable speaking local African languages; close to half the population is monolingual in a local language.’
    • ‘The bilingual children scored twice as high on this test as the monolingual children.’
    • ‘Unlike their minority peers, most mainstream U.S. students grow up in a homogeneous monolingual family and in a community where their mother tongue and culture are the norms.’
    • ‘This is very important for a nation like ours, which still has a tendency to be monolingual.’
    • ‘As a monolingual traveler in a foreign land carrying only a bilingual dictionary knows, a fluent traveling companion would be a much more valuable aid.’
    • ‘Children who acquire more than one language early can develop thinking skills that may elude monolingual children of the same age.’
    • ‘Saying ‘Minchuan East Road Section 1’ to a monolingual taxi driver is likely to result in a blank stare, even if ‘Minchuan’ is pronounced perfectly.’
    1. 1.1 (of a text or conversation) written or conducted in only one language.
      ‘monolingual and bilingual editions’
      • ‘Both monolingual dictionaries and bilingual dictionaries intended for speakers of languages other than English usually indicate the pronunciation of words.’
      • ‘Indeed, a major focus of the act is to assist to acquire a second language and eventually be mainstreamed into a monolingual program.’
      • ‘This section examines how recent and traditional models guide reading comprehension instruction in monolingual and in bilingual contexts.’
      • ‘Earlier monolingual dictionaries were mainly concerned with ‘hard’ words: the bookish, Latinate, and technical vocabulary of Renaissance English.’
      • ‘Group 3 read the short story with the tested vocabulary and used the monolingual English dictionary while taking the same multiple-choice test.’
      • ‘In an effort to prop up the use of Irish, the government in the region in which Irish is still in common use has replaced the previously bilingual road signs with monolingual signs.’
      • ‘This supports various other studies showing that children in bilingual education tend to acquire higher levels of both languages than children experiencing monolingual education.’
      • ‘Students in the monolingual program receive handwriting books while my students get copies of the page to be done.’
      • ‘The comparison group was composed of 118 English-dominant Mexican American students who had participated in a monolingual English curriculum in Grades 1-3.’
      • ‘The bulk of the research has been centered on the benefits of bilingual education vis-a-vis monolingual education.’
      • ‘That feeling of isolation was exacerbated by geography and by the fact that I was a learner-turned-teacher who wasn't completely fluent and couldn't take part in monolingual Welsh discussions.’
      • ‘The market for spellcheckers and monolingual dictionaries would be greatly reduced.’


  • A person who speaks only one language.

    • ‘Yet I find that it's not the bilingual who criticise people like me but the Mandarin monolingual.’
    • ‘This analogy suggests that comparing the language proficiency of a monolingual with a bilingual's dual language or multilingual proficiency is similarly unjust.’
    • ‘Thus, lower performance of bilingual children on tests normed on monolinguals could imply a distribution of knowledge across the two languages rather than a general linguistic deficiency.’
    • ‘They particularly shined in their average rate of memorization, which was 56.9 percent higher than monolinguals.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the student translator is burdened with an extra workload which is rarely delegated to students who are English monolinguals.’
    • ‘A number of studies have been carried out to determine how the academic achievement of bilinguals compares with that of monolinguals.’
    • ‘All the teachers participating in this study were English monolinguals, and English was the medium of instruction.’
    • ‘Furthermore, bilinguals may develop a more analytic orientation toward language than do monolinguals as a means of overcoming interference between languages.’
    • ‘In fact, it has been argued that a monolingual bias exists in bilingual research, using monolinguals as a yardstick to assess bilinguals' cognitive abilities.’
    • ‘By the mid-19c, few Irish monolinguals were left and bilingualism had become a way-station on the road to English alone.’
    • ‘They also entered high-skill occupations at twice the rate of English monolinguals.’
    • ‘In all multilingual communities speakers switch among languages or varieties as monolinguals switch among styles.’
    • ‘Despite his own proficient bilingualism, Sr. Verdugo represented himself to children as a Spanish monolingual.’
    • ‘Developmentally speaking, bilinguals are unique listener-speakers and not simply byproducts of two or more monolinguals.’
    • ‘Research comparing bilinguals to monolinguals necessarily uses between-subjects designs.’
    • ‘Such a mindset sees everything in terms of monolingualism as the norm, even though there are more bilinguals and multilinguals in the world than monolinguals.’
    • ‘Current practices for assessment of language in bilinguals frequently involve the use of tests that are designed for and normed on monolinguals.’
    • ‘‘When speaking to bilinguals and monolinguals in Council sessions, the speaker has a far better chance of accomplishing his objectives if he speaks first in Navajo’.’
    • ‘On the one hand, the country was encouraging the study of foreign languages for English monolinguals, at great cost and with great inefficiency.’
    • ‘The bilingual subjects performed more slowly than the monolinguals, and for addition and subtraction this difference increased with the number of operations.’