scholarly essays on bilingualism

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Scholarly essays on bilingualism

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Malcolm x dissertation Bilingual assessment: Can overall proficiency be estimated from separate measurement of two languages? However, keep in mind that bilingual exposure does not necessarily translate to being a bilingual who is able to understand and speak a language fluently. Lateralization, language learning, and the critical period. Dual language development and disorders. External link. This high-quality and high-quantity experience with language—a strongest skills essay feature of how people communicate with young children—often results in successful language learning. Sensitive periods differentiate processing of open-and closed-class words: An ERP study of bilinguals.
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Scholarly essays on bilingualism Infant Behavior and Development. It is important to note that considerations of code mixing also have important social implications. Biological foundations of language. Are bilingual children confused? Credit units ie.
Top research paper ghostwriter for hire for school Native-language recognition abilities in 4-month-old infants from monolingual and bilingual environments. Psychological Science. While our focus here has been on language development, it is also important to recognize that early childhood is also a time of profound emotional, social, physical, and cognitive development. The modeling hypothesis and child bilingual codemixing. The Self-motivated State of Bilingualism Studies that involve bilingual acquisition studies highlight the frequency of perception in which language one is stable while language two is compelling because it experiences changes in development. The development of associative word learning in monolingual and bilingual infants. The equation provides another conclu sion of plath s death that significantly forms the wider educational community.

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The new generation of students is growing up in a society that is increasingly bilingual. While foreign language The Self-motivated State of Bilingualism Studies that involve bilingual acquisition studies highlight the frequency of perception in which language one is stable while language two is compelling because it experiences changes in development.

These studies question the stability of language one concerning a context where Bilingualism Meno Second Language 1 Page. Bilingualism is a natural phenomenon worldwide. Unwittingly, however, monolingualism has been used as a standard to characterize and define bilingualism and multilingualism in linguistic research.

Bilingualism 2 Pages. Due to the recent increase in globalisation and population movements, cultures from all around the world are coming into contact with each other, resulting in a growing number of multicultural societies. These communities lead to families and children who identify with more than one culture, Bilingualism 3 Pages. Florida State Board of Education on August 14, Bilingualism Canada 8 Pages. Our world is becoming increasingly multilingual.

Many children are being raised as bilinguals. Therefore, the child may learn one language at home and another at Bilingualism Education System Philippines 3 Pages. Language has always been associated with the evolution of humans as intellectual beings.

Its role in a functioning society is indispensable since it sets the grounds for discourse and development. The science of bilingualism is a young field, and definitive answers to many questions are not yet available. Furthermore, other questions are impossible to answer due to vast differences across families, communities, and cultures.

There are few venues for communicating scientific findings about early bilingualism to the public, and our goal is to distill bilingual and developmental science into practical, accessible information. We are researchers who study bilingual infants and children, and as such, we interact with bilingual families regularly.

When we give community talks to preschools and nonprofit organizations about language development in early childhood, the question-and-answer period is invariably dominated by questions about early bilingualism. The consistency in questions is astonishing.

Are bilingual children confused? Does bilingualism make children smarter? Is it best for each person to speak only one language with a bilingual child? Should parents avoid mixing languages together? Is earlier better? Are bilingual children more likely to have language difficulties, delays, or disorders?

This article is organized around these six common questions. One of the biggest concerns that parents have about raising children in a bilingual household is that it will cause confusion. But is there any scientific evidence that young bilinguals are confused? The first question to ask is what confusion would look like. Except in the case of neurological disorders Paradis, , fluently bilingual adults can speak whatever language they choose in the moment, and are clearly not confused.

But what about bilingual children and infants? One misunderstood behavior, which is often taken as evidence for confusion, is when bilingual children mix words from two languages in the same sentence. This is known as code mixing.

In fact, code mixing is a normal part of bilingual development, and bilingual children actually have good reasons to code mix Pearson, A second reason is that, just like young monolinguals, young bilinguals are sometimes limited in their linguistic resources. If a bilingual child does not know or cannot quickly retrieve the appropriate word in one language, she might borrow the word from the other language Lanza, Further, bilingual children do not seem to use their two languages haphazardly.

What about bilingual infants? Again, the research is clear: bilingual infants readily distinguish their two languages and show no evidence of confusion. Bilingual infants may be even more sensitive than monolinguals when it comes to discriminating languages. Recent research has shown that 4-month-old monolingual and bilingual infants can discriminate silent talking faces speaking different languages Weikum et al.

Instead of being confused, it seems that bilingual infants are sensitive to information that distinguishes their languages. Several studies have suggested that bilinguals show certain advantages when it comes to social understanding. In some ways, this is not surprising, as bilinguals must navigate a complex social world where different people have different language knowledge. Bilinguals also show some cognitive advantages.

Research has not been able to determine exactly why these advantages arise, but there are several possibilities. Bilingual adults have to regularly switch back and forth between their languages, and inhibit one language while they selectively speak another. Some researchers suspect that this constant practice might lead to certain advantages by training the brain Green, However, it is important to note that bilingualism is not the only type of experience that has been linked to cognitive advantages.

Similar cognitive advantages are also seen in individuals with early musical training Schellenberg, , showing that multiple types of enriched early experience can promote cognitive development. So far, bilingual cognitive advantages have only been demonstrated using highly sensitive laboratory-based methods, and it is not known whether they play a role in everyday life.

Thus, the reported advantages do not imply that bilingualism is an essential ingredient for successful development. It is still important to consider what strategies families can use to promote early bilingual development.

Research has shown that a one-person-one-language approach can lead to successful acquisition of the two languages Barron-Hauwaert, , but that it does not necessarily lead to successful acquisition of the two languages De Houwer, Further, children who hear both languages from the same bilingual parent often do successfully learn two languages De Houwer, A one-person-one-language approach is neither necessary nor sufficient for successful bilingual acquisition.

Several other factors have proven to be important to early bilingual development. These factors might lead some families to use a one-person-one-language strategy, and other families to use other strategies.

First, it is important to remember that infants learn language through listening to and interacting with different speakers. Infants need to have a lot of exposure to the sounds, words, and grammars of the languages that they will one day use. Both quality and quantity matter. High quality language exposure involves social interaction—infants do not readily learn language from television DeLoache et al.

Quantity can be measured by the number of words that children hear per day in each language. For bilingual children, it is important to consider the quantity of their exposure to each language. Bilingual children who hear a large amount of a particular language learn more words and grammar in that language Hoff et al. Bilingual parents thus need to ensure that their children have sufficient exposure to the languages they want their children to learn. We return to this topic in the next sections.

Relatively balanced exposure to the two languages is most likely to promote successful acquisition of both of the languages Thordardottir, In situations where each parent spends equal time with a child, one-parent-one-language can be a great way to ensure equal exposure. Conversely, exposure to a second language only when grandma and grandpa visit on the weekend, or when a part-time nanny visits on a few weekdays, or when a language class meets on Thursday nights, will not lead to balanced exposure.

Imagine an average infant who sleeps about 12 hours a day, and so is awake 84 hours per week. Similarly, in homes where one parent is the primary caregiver, a one-parent-one-language is unlikely to lead to balanced exposure. Unfortunately, providing perfectly balanced exposure in the early years will not necessarily ensure later bilingualism. As children become older, they become more aware of the language spoken in the community where they live, and are likely to use this language at school.

This is known as the majority language, while other languages that are not as widely spoken are known as minority languages. Even if initially learned in preschool, minority languages are much more likely than majority languages to be lost as development continues De Houwer, Many experts recommend providing slightly more early input in a minority than in a majority language, and where possible providing children with opportunities to play with other kids in that language Pearson, Raising a bilingual child in communities that are largely bilingual such as Miami Spanish-English , Montreal French-English , and Barcelona Catalan-Spanish provides fewer challenges for ensuring the ongoing use of the two languages.

So what language strategies should parents use? Some parents insist on speaking only one language with their child, even if they are able to speak the other Lanza, , to ensure exposure to a particular language. Other families find that flexible use of the two languages, without fixed rules, leads to balanced exposure and positive interactions.

Each family should consider the language proficiency of each family member as well as their language preference, in conjunction with their community situation. Families should regularly make an objective appraisal of what their child is actually hearing on a daily basis rather than what they wish their child was hearing , and consider adjusting language use when necessary. Many parents of bilingual children are bilingual themselves Byers-Heinlein, Code mixing—the use of elements from two different languages in the same sentence or conversation—is a normal part of being a bilingual and interacting with other bilingual speakers Poplack, Code mixing is relatively frequent amongst bilingual parents as well Byers-Heinlein, , and even parents who have chosen a one-parent-one-language strategy still code mix from time to time Goodz, But what effects does hearing code mixing have on the development of bilingual children?

One study of and month-olds found that high amounts of code mixing by parents was related to smaller vocabulary sizes Byers-Heinlein, Further, studies are beginning to reveal that bilingual children as young as months are able to understand code-mixed sentences, and show similar processing patterns as bilingual adults Byers-Heinlein, This would suggest that bilinguals are able to cope with code mixing from an early age. It has also been suggested that while code mixing might make word learning initially difficult, it is possible that practice switching back and forth between the languages leads to later cognitive benefits Byers-Heinlein, Unfortunately, the jury is still out on whether exposure to code mixing has developmental consequences for bilingual children, but we are currently working on several research projects that will help answer this question.

It is important to note that considerations of code mixing also have important social implications. In some communities, code mixing is an important part of being bilingual and being part of a bilingual community. For example, code mixing is the norm in some Spanish-English communities in the U. Different communities have different patterns of and rules for code mixing Poplack, , and children need exposure to these patterns in order to learn them.

Disagreement aside, research on bilingualism and second language learning converges robustly on a simple take-home point: earlier is better. This point is best understood as an interaction between biological and environmental factors. In other words, our brains may be more receptive to language earlier in life. But importantly, our environment is also more conducive to language learning earlier in life.

In many cultures and in many families, young children experience a very rich language environment during the first years of life. Caregivers typically speak in ways that are neither too simple nor too complex, and children receive hours and hours of practice with language every day. This high-quality and high-quantity experience with language—a special feature of how people communicate with young children—often results in successful language learning.

It gives children rich, diverse, and engaging opportunities to learn about the sounds, syllables, words, phrases, and sentences that comprise their native language. But beyond the first years of life, second language learning often happens very differently. Older children and adults do not usually have the same amount of time to devote to language learning, and they do not usually experience the advantage of fun, constant, one-on-one interaction with native speakers.

In classrooms, words are defined for them and grammar is described to them. Defining and describing can be effective, but they are not as powerful as discovering language from the ground up. Applied to bilingualism, these maturational and environmental differences between younger and older learners indicate that it is most advantageous to learn two languages early on in life.

Bilinguals who learn two languages from birth are referred to as simultaneous bilinguals, and those who learn a first language followed by a second language—whether as toddlers or as adults—are referred to as sequential bilinguals. The evidence points to fairly robust advantages for simultaneous bilinguals relative to sequential bilinguals. They tend to have better accents, more diversified vocabulary, higher grammatical proficiency, and greater skill in real-time language processing.

For example, children and adults who learn Spanish as a second language typically struggle to master Spanish grammatical gender e. However, parents should not lose hope if they have not exposed their children to each language from birth. Here we overview two possibilities.

This can certainly result in increased bilingual proficiency, but it is essential to provide continued opportunities to practice each language once the child is older. Parental expectations should be quite low if children do not have opportunities to continue learning and using a language throughout development. However, keep in mind that bilingual exposure does not necessarily translate to being a bilingual who is able to understand and speak a language fluently.

Their goal is to promote bilingualism, biliteracy, and multicultural proficiency among both language-majority and language-minority students. In the U. There are currently or more immersion programs in 31 U. Immersion programs confer advantages over other formats of language instruction that are typical in high school and college classrooms. In immersion programs, the second language is not necessarily a topic of instruction, but a vehicle for instruction of other curriculum subjects.

However, they often foster functional bilingualism, and equip children with language skills that help them in later educational and professional contexts. The take-home messages about bilingual language exposure are clear: more is better, and earlier is better. If you are 75 years old and you have always wanted to learn Japanese, start now. Even so, knowing 50 vs. This offers some reassurance that young bilinguals—like young monolinguals—possess learning skills that can successfully get them started on expected vocabulary trajectories.

Just like some monolingual children have a language delay or disorder, a similar proportion of bilinguals will have a language delay or disorder. Evidence that one bilingual child has a language difficulty, however, is not evidence that bilingualism leads to language difficulties in general. The challenge for pediatricians and for speech-language pathologists is to decide if a bilingual child does have a problem, or whether her errors are part of normal development and interaction between the sounds, words, and grammars of her two languages.

If parents are worried that their bilingual child does have a delay, they should first consult their pediatrician. In some other cases, health care providers with concerns about language impairment may recommend against raising a child in a bilingual environment.

This recommendation is not supported by the science of bilingualism. Early intervention increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. The time is past due to eliminate such simple misunderstandings in clinical settings. Parents should keep in mind that clinicians have a very difficult job when it comes to assessing bilingual children. This is a tangled landscape for intervention, but one that can be assessed thoughtfully. Regardless of whether parents pursue intervention, they can help children gain bilingual proficiency by using both languages as regularly as possible in enriching and engaging contexts.

In summary, if you measure bilinguals using a monolingual measure, you are more likely to find false evidence of delay. To promote successful bilingual development, parents raising bilingual children should ensure that their children have ample opportunities to hear and speak both of their languages. As children get older, interacting with monolingual speakers especially other children is important for motivating ongoing language use, especially for minority languages not widely spoken in the community Pearson, Teachers, pediatricians, and speech language pathologists play an important role in dispelling common myths, and in communicating science-based information about early bilingualism to parents.

While our focus here has been on language development, it is also important to recognize that early childhood is also a time of profound emotional, social, physical, and cognitive development. Bilingualism will be a priority or even a necessity for some families. Other families might choose to focus on other aspects of development.

In some cases, where families are not fluent in a second language, early bilingualism might be unrealistic. Here, it is important to keep two things in mind: 1 bilingualism is only one way to promote successful early development, and 2 second language learning is possible at any age. Language—any language—is a window to the world.

It is better for parents to provide plenty of input and interaction in a language they are comfortable in, than to hold back because they are not fluent or comfortable in the language. When it comes to raising bilingual children, myths and misunderstandings are common, but facts are hard to come by. Thank you to Alexandra Polonia for her assistance with proofreading, and to the many parents of bilingual children whose questions inspire and motivate us.

Krista Byers-Heinlein B. Casey Lew-Williams B. He directs the Language Learning Lab, a research group devoted to studying first, second, and bilingual language learning.

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Bilingualism

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on two critical measures of perspective taking (perspective perspective taking in their argumentative essays and a validated formal. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. These scholars used the term 'incipient bilingualism' to describe a person who is at the beginning stages of acquiring a new language and.