In Colombia, Spanish is the commonly spoken language but there are about 60 to 80 languages that are spoken by the natives of different areas (Stavenhagen, 2016). The mandatory multilingual education makes it easy for the natives to be fluent in more than one language. Multilingual education has provoked negative impression because the indigenous languages are referred to as an ‘illness’.
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Because of the fact that Spanish is widely spoken, other languages that are spoken by minority groups are seldom accepted. It becomes hard for the citizens who speak only their native language and need access to public amenities in the workplace and in the military.
According to Stavenhagen (2016), indigenous people are discriminated in employment and occupation as the Spanish native speakers are given better opportunities in comparison to their counterparts. Employer language policies state that no employee should be discriminated based on their age, gender or language. As Stavenhagen (2016) opines, there have been instances where employees have been complaining of their employers offering more salary to the employees who can fluently speak Spanish and offer less to the indigenous language speakers such as Quichua, Romani, Creola English, Palenquero, among others despite having the same qualifications.
Stavenhagen (2016) writes that requiring employees to speak only Spanish is discriminatory and not justifiable. He further states that for an employee to please clients and the organization, they have to speak in Spanish. Which becomes hard for the indigenous language speakers. However, on the brighter side, making an effort to speak Spanish shows interest and seriousness but should not be a measure of competency;
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