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Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition

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Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition. Bilingualism. Bilingualism means being fluent in two languages Approximately ½ of the people in the world are native speakers of more than one language

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bilingualism
Bilingualism
  • Bilingualism means being fluent in two languages
  • Approximately ½ of the people in the world are native speakers of more than one language
  • It is natural for children acquiring more than one language to mix the languages as they are acquiring them
  • Bilingual children appear to acquire both languages in the same stages and at same rate as monolingual children
bilingualism con t
Bilingualism (con’t)
  • Metalinguistic awareness = consciousness about language including a better understanding of symbol-object relations and sociolinguistic practices

Bilingual children have better metalinguistic awareness than monolingual children

  • Code-switching = moving back and forth between two or more languages during a single speech event

Bilingual individuals code-switch when speaking to other bilingual individuals

theories of bilingual language acquisition
Theories of Bilingual Language Acquisition
  • Unitary System Hypothesis

Children first construct one lexicon and one grammar, and then later add another.

  • Separate Systems Hypothesis

Children simultaneously develop two lexicons and two grammars, one for each of the languages.

second language acquisition l2 s
Second Language Acquisition (L2’s)
  • The acquisition of a second language AFTER the first has been completely acquired.
  • Fundamental Difference Hypothesis = the process of second language acquisition is different than bilingual language acquisition process.
  • L2’s go through predictable stages in acquiring the second languages that are intermediate between their first and second languages.
  • Many L2’s never reach full fluency, and/or frequently retain systematic errors in their second language.
  • About 8 years old appears to be the boundary for complete fluency (phonetically, morphologically and syntactically) in a second language.
  • Each year delay makes a significant difference in fluency
methods of teaching l2 s
Methods of Teaching L2’s
  • Grammar Translation

Involves memorization of vocabulary, morphological and syntactic rules.

  • The Direct Method

Involves immersion in the second language without any memorization or study of phonology or syntax.

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