The category of bilinguals is very broad—encompassing individuals who are sophisticated speakers, readers, and writers of two or more languages, as well as those who use a limited knowledge of a second language L2 for purposes such as work or schooling, and who may be literate in only one language or even completely illiterate. Because of the consequences of colonization, migration, nation-formation, traditions of exogamy, and modernization, some degree of bilingualism is typical of most people in the world. Bilingualism is a feature not just of individuals, but also of societies.
Bilingualism in Young Children: Consider some of the following statistics: In the United States This number is projected to increase in the coming years 4. Worldwide, it is estimated that These trends mean that many children are being raised as bilinguals. Therefore, the child may learn one language at home and another at school.
But sometimes bilingualism is a choice, and parents may wish to expose their child to another language, even if they do not speak a second language themselves. This could be due to the many benefits of being bilingual.
Benefits of Bilingualism Bilingual children are better able to focus their attention on relevant information and ignore distractions 7, 8.
Bilingual individuals have been shown to be more creative and better at planning and solving complex problems than monolinguals 9, The effects of aging on the brain are diminished among bilingual adults 7.
In one study, the onset of dementia was delayed by 4 years in bilinguals compared to monolinguals with dementia Bilingual individuals have greater access to people and resources 9.
The cognitive advantages of bilingualism e. This means that a person will benefit more from his bilingualism cognitively if he is more proficient in his languages.
Simultaneous Acquisition occurs when a child is raised bilingually from birth, or when the second language is introduced before the age of three Children learning two languages simultaneously go through the same developmental stages as children learning one language.
While bilingual children may start talking slightly later than monolingual children, they still begin talking within the normal range From the very beginning of language learning, simultaneous bilinguals seem to acquire two separate languages Early on, they are able to differentiate their two languages and have been shown to switch languages according to their conversation partner e.
Sequential Acquisition occurs when a second language is introduced after the first language is well-established generally after the age of three. Children may experience sequential acquisition if they immigrate to a country where a different language is spoken.
Sequential learning may also occur if the child exclusively speaks his heritage language at home until he begins school, where instruction is offered in a different language.
A child who acquires a second language in this manner generally experiences the following This can last from a few weeks to several months, and is most likely a time when the child builds his understanding of the language Younger children usually remain in this phase longer than older children.
Children may rely on using gestures in this period, and use few words in the second language. Rather, they are phrases he has heard and memorized.But sometimes bilingualism is a choice, and parents may wish to expose their child to another language, even if they do not speak a second language themselves.
This . Second-language learning in children: A model of language learning in social context. In Bialystok, E. (ed.) Language processing in bilingual children. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
49 – Learning a second language is a good way to communicate with people who are from different cultures and countries.
Learning two or more languages can be beneficial because it offers people job advantages, improves their brain, delays brain diseases and much more.
There are many benefits of learning a second language. First is that it gives people some job advantages.
|Bilingualism, Second Language Learning, and English as a Second Language||In the first half of the 20th century, the prevailing view was that bilingualism and second-language acquisition early in life made children confused and interfered with their ability to develop normal cognitive functions1 and succeed in educational environments.|
|IN ADDITION TO READING ONLINE, THIS TITLE IS AVAILABLE IN THESE FORMATS:||We are many who feel that education should help children and adolescents acquire a second or third language while retaining their first language. Education should also encourage the active use of those languages, if at all possible.|
While both Cummins and Snow agree that language task analysis is crucial to prediction of academic performance from language proficiency, they disagree about whether second-language learning necessarily starts with conversational skills; in fact, a frequent feature of immigrant bilingualism is that seemingly more difficult tasks may be performed better in the second than in the first language.
Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition Teachers will vary in their understandings of bilingualism and the processes of second language acquisition. Some teachers will be bilingual or plurilingual themselves and have a wealth of personal experience to draw on.
In addition to the official commitment to a national policy of second-language acquisition and bilingualism, immigration has transformed Canada into a rich multilingual and multicultural nation.
Public schools, especially in major urban centres, are home to large numbers of children for whom English or French is a second language.