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Bilingualism

Bilingualism

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Bilingualism

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  1. Bilingualism Definitions & Distinctions

  2. Minimal and Maximal • Incipient bilingualism – minimal competence in a second language (e.g. tourists phrases and words) • “Native-like control” of two or more languages (Blomfield, 1933)

  3. Balanced Bilingualism • Monolingual/Fractional view: “two monolinguals” in one person. • Holistic view: the bilingual has a unique linguistic profile; not the sum of two complete/incomplete monolinguals.

  4. Balance Theory • Separate Underlying Proficiency: Two languages operating separately • Common Underlying Proficiency: Language attributes cross both languages like an exchange between the two.

  5. Common Underlying Proficiency Model • Two languages are visibly different, but underneath both languages operate through the same central processing system (may be summarized in 6 parts).

  6. Semilingualism/Double Semilingualism • Bilingual ability described in terms of deficiencies when compared with monolinguals • Term used pejoratively

  7. Stages of Bilingualism

  8. Early Bilingualism • Newborns prefer mother’s voice • “Babbling Stage” (10-12m.) • Babbles in stronger language • Demonstrates language-specific babbling features.

  9. Child’s Language Choice • Parent’s attitudes to language choice and code-switching • Language competencies and metalinguistic abilities • Personality • Peer interaction

  10. Storing Two Languages

  11. Storing Two Languages (cont.) • The two languages develop both autonomously and inter-dependently, and this is partly a function of transfer between types of language combination (e.g. French-English compared with Mandarin-English) – Genesee (2001)

  12. The Thresholds Theory • There is a relationship between cognition and degree of bilingualism, and that the further a child moves towards balanced bilingualism, the greater the likelihood of cognitive advantages (e.g. Toukomaa & Skutnabb-Kangas, 1977; Cummins, 1976).

  13. Threshold Illustrations

  14. Later Development of Bilingualism

  15. Reasons for Second Language Learning • Societal • Assimilationist and subtractive (language minority students learning English in the U.S.) • Preservationist (e.g. Maori in NZ, Irish/Gaelic in England, Basque in Spain) • Increase harmony between language groups (e.g. Canada)

  16. Reasons (cont.) • Encourages economic and trade reasons (e.g. Singapore, China, Scandinavia) • Interactions across continents (e.g. European countries, Central & South American) • Promotes intercultural understanding and peace (September 11, 2001)

  17. Reasons (cont.) • Individual • Promotes cultural awareness • Promotes cognitive development • Promotes affective attributes (moral development, self-awareness, self-confidence, and social and ethical values) • Promotes facility toward career and employment

  18. High School ELL Class

  19. The Age Factor • Younger second language learners are neither more globally aware nor less efficient and successful than older learners in second language acquisition • Children who learn a second language in childhood do tend to achieve higher levels of proficiency than those who begin after childhood. • In a formal classroom situation, older learners tend to learn quicker than younger learners. However the length of exposure (# of years of L2) is an important factor in language success.

  20. Three Perspectives on Language • Language as a problem: • Causes deficiency in learning • Personality and social problems • Causes disunity in the political arena (language is rarely the cause of conflict/strife)

  21. Perspectives (cont.) • Language is a basic human right • Language rights concern protection from discrimination (e.g. Native Americans, Maori) • Language rights are derived from personal, human, legal, and constitutional right.

  22. Perspective (cont.) • Language is a natural resource • Promotes foreign trade, world influence, even peace • Bilingualism is an asset to both community and individual.