Bilingualism Silvia Martinez, Ed. D., CAGS, CCC-S Assistant Professor Howard University
Goals • Definitions of Bilingualism • Language Skills • Domains • Bilingualism in Society • Common Underlying Proficiency Theory • Threshold Theory • Developmental Interdependence Theory
Definitions • Individual bilingualism vs. societal bilingualism • Language skills – highly specific, observable, clearly defined components (handwriting) • Language competence – broad general term, inner, mental representation of language, latent rather than overt-underlying system inferred from language performance
Definitions • Language performance – outward evidence for language competence • Language ability/Language proficiency – latent disposition, a determinant of eventual language success or the outcome less specific than skills, ambiguous term • Language achievement – outcome of formal instruction.
Four Language Skills • Listening • Speaking • Reading • Writing
Skills within Skills • Pronunciation • Vocabulary • Grammar • Pragmatics • Etc, etc, etc • Maybe 64 separate components to language proficiency (Hernandez-Chavez)
Labels • ESL • LEP • ELL
Fifth Language Competence • Language used for thinking may be a fifth area of language competence (Skutnabb-Kangas) • Inner speech • Cognitive competence of language (Cummins)
Minimal vs. Maximal Bilingualism • What is the competence necessary to be considered bilingual? • Maximal definition – native like control of two or more languages (Bloomfield) • Incipient bilingualism (Diebold) – minimal competence (tourist language)
Other Definitions • Ambilingualism • Equilingualism • Functional Bilingualism • Receptive/Passive Bilingualism • Productive/Active Bilingualism • Natural/Primary Bilingualism • Academic/Secondary Bilingualism • Incipient Bilingualism These are not mutually exclusive, you can have two classifications
Balanced Bilinguals • Idealized concept –equal competence in two languages in a reasonable competency • Problems • Balance may exist at a low level of competence in two languages – two relatively undeveloped languages • Should monolinguals and bilinguals be compared?
Semilingualism • The concept of dominance • Semilinguals are distinct from balanced and dominant bilinguals. • Definition – a person with quantitative and qualitative deficiencies in both their languages when compared with monolinguals
Semilingualism • Characteristics • Size of vocabulary • Correctness of language • Unconscious processing of language (automatism) • Language creation (neologization) • Mastery of the functions of language (emotive, cognitive) • Meanings and imagery
Semilingualism • May occur when there is a language loss and is still acquiring English, the student may appear to be low-functioning in both languages (Roseberry-McKibbin) L1 At Risk Zone L2
Use of Bilingualism • Functional bilingualism • Moves into language production across an encyclopedia of everyday events. • Concerns when, where, and with whom people use their two languages (Fishman) • See page 12 and 13
Foundations of Bilingualism in Society • Language Communities • An analysis of how groups of language speakers behave and change • It is important to examine the contact between language communities
Change and movement • With every minority and majority language there is constant change and movement • Language contact • Language communities • Language change • Language shift
Sociolinguistics Perspective • Diglossia • Language Shift • Language Maintenance • Language death • Language Spread • Language Revivial
Diglossia • Two languages in society • Each language serves a different function
Distinctions • Majority language (high) vs. minority language (low) • Prestigious Language
Three Theories on Bilingualism • Jim Cummins’ Approaches
Theories • Common Underlying Proficiency • Threshold Theory • Developmental Interdependence Theory
Common Underlying Proficiency • Refers to what is commonly known as balance proficiencies, but takes it one step further (Baker, 1997)
Common Underlying Proficiency • Language attributes are not apart in the cognitive system, but transfer readily and are interactive. • Lessons learned in one language can readily transfer into the other language.
Common Underlying Proficiency The Iceberg Analogy L1 Surface Features L2 Surface Features Surface Level Common Underlying Proficiency Central Operating System
Common Underlying Proficiency • Separate Underlying Proficiency (SUP) VS • Common Underlying Proficiency (CUP)
Common Underlying Proficiency Parts • The thoughts that accompany talking, reading, writing and listening come from the same central engine. There is one integrated source of thought. • People have the capacity to store easily many languages, and can also function in many languages with ease.
Common Underlying Proficiency • Information processing skills and educational attainment may be developed through two languages. Cognitive functioning and school achievement may be fed through any channel, they feed from the same central processor • The language used in the classroom needs to be sufficiently well developed to be able to process the cognitive challenges in the classroom.
Common Underlying Proficiency • Speaking, listening, reading or writing any of the languages helps the whole cognitive system to develop. However, if made to operate in an insufficiently developed language, the system will not function at its best. Operating in a poorly developed L2, will result in poor quality and quantity of what they learn in complex curriculum materials. Oral and written form may appear weak and impoverished
Common Underlying Proficiency • When one or both languages are not functioning fully cognitive functioning and academic performance may be negatively affected.
Thresholds Theory • The further the child moves toward balanced bilingualism, the greater the likelihood of cognitive advantages. • There are two thresholds or levels of language competence that has consequences for a child. • Limits which children will be likely to obtain cognitive benefits from bilingualism. • Suggests that there are children who may derive detrimental consequences from their bilingualism.
Thresholds Theory • First threshold is level to reach to avoid negative consequences of bilingualism. • Second threshold is a level required to experience the possible benefits of bilingualism.
Thresholds Theory BalancedBilinguals Second Threshold Less BalancedBilinguals First Threshold LimitedBilinguals L2 L1
Thresholds Theory • Balanced Bilinguals • Age-appropriate competence in both languages • Positive cognitive advantages • Less Balanced Bilinguals • Age-appropriate competence in one language • Unlikely positive or negative advantages • Limited Bilinguals • Low levels of competence in both languages • Likely negative cognitive consequences
What are cognitive consequences • Coping with curriculum materials • Processing information • Deductive reasoning • Metalinguistic awareness (analysis of linguistic knowledge and control of linguistic processing)
Problems with theory • Defining level of language proficiency necessary to • avoid negative effects • obtain positive advantages
Developmental Interdependence Hypothesis • Suggests that child’s second language competence is partly dependent on the level of competence already achieved in the first language • The more developed the first language, the easier it will be to develop a second language • When the first language is at a low stage of evolution, the more difficult the achievement of bilingualism will be.
Language skills required for education • Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) • Context embedded • Comprehension • Speaking • Pronunciation • Vocabulary • Grammar • Cognitive/Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) • Context reduced • Analysis • Synthesis • Meanings • Creative Compositions
BICS/CALP Conversational Proficiency Cognitive Processes Knowledge Comprehension Application Language Proficiency Pronunciation Vocabulary Grammar Surface Analysis Synthesis Evaluation Semantic Meaning Functional Meaning Cognitive/Academic Proficiency
Limitations • Different dimensions to language • Moving from one dimension requires evolving, dynamic, interacting and intricate, not a dichotomy • Lack of empirical support, difficult to operationalize • Terms BICS and CALP may oversimplify • Relationship between language development and cognitive development is not simple. Other factors affect them.
BICS/CALP • Helps explain child failure in the schools. Cognitive Undemanding Quadrant 1 Quadrant 2 Context Embedded Communication Context Reduced Communication Quadrant 3 Quadrant 4 Cognitively Demanding Comm
BICS/CALP Two Dimensions • Amount of contextual support available to a student • Context embedded Communication • Pointing to objects • Using the eyes • Head nods • Hand gestures • Intonation • Context reduced communication • Few cues to meaning transmitted
BICS/CALP Two Dimensions 2. Level of cognitive demands required in communication • Cognitive demanding communication • Much information at a challenging level needs processing quickly • Cognitive undemanding communication • Person has the mastery of languages skills sufficient to enable easy communication.
Quadrants • Q1 • Surface fluency or basic interpersonal communication skills – BICS • L2 Develops independently from L1 surface fluency • Q4 • Language that is cognitive and academically more advanced – CALP • Develops interdependent and can be promoted by either or both languages
Length of time to develop CALP BICS
Length of time to develop • New evidence pointing to length of time being 7 to 10 years.
Curriculum Relevance I Handouts Page 156 - 158