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Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly 2004 1 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher?

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Presentation on theme: "Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly 2004 1 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher?

2 Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q1.Why learn two languages? A national resource Desirable educational attainment Provides more adept creative thinking Childs cultural heritage Greater divergent thinking Better ability to form concepts

3 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q2.Learn two languages at the same time, or start learning one later? A language acquired naturally will be superior to those learnt formally Pronunciation in particular will be better No evidence that a child will learn faster if one language is introduced before the other

4 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q3. If two languages are learnt together, will they be learnt equally well, and at the same rate? One will dominate Dominance may shift at an early age e.g. beginning school

5 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q4. Learning language at school or at home ? Language acquired naturally will be superior Provides a solid foundation to continue with formal language study later Consolidation and development at a later stage

6 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q5. Learning two languages means he/she wont know either very well? Initially vocabulary may be more limited (2 labels for everything) Meaning in one language, word in another Does not mean they know fewer concepts Overall will know more words than a monolingual

7 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q6. One parent speaks English only, other bilingual? Negotiated with the family Second language in absence of monolingual parent Running summary in translation often occurs naturally

8 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q7. Learning two languages means pronunciation will suffer in both or either? No significant difference Some children will reach mastery earlier than others Parents should be patient, not critical

9 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q8. Mixing the two languages or refusing to use one? Quite common Persist with bilingual program Child will acquire passive knowledge, leading to active knowledge later Dont discourage questions about vocab or grammar

10 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q9. Speaks first language at home but makes many mistakes? Dont discourage child from using the language Spontaneous use of the language is more important Grammatical accuracy will follow later

11 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q10. Stuttering caused by trouble with learning the two languages? No evidence of this Disfluency can be caused by anxiety Read to child

12 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q11. Drop native language, use English only? Not a good idea Plenty of opportunities to speak English outside home Parents ability in native language may be superior Parents using their native language can improve a childs esteem for his/her parents

13 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q12. A child will have a better memory if only learning one language? No evidence Memory is not impaired by bilingualism

14 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q13. Each parent dominant in a different language, should we speak to our child in both languages? Better for each parent to use their own language Many variables involved Requires least conscious effort by child Naturally speaks two languages

15 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q14. Stages children go through in first few years when becoming bilingual? Stage 1 - single or few words –Can produce some words in one language but not in the other Stage 2 - greater discrimination but some interchange, aware of two codes Stage 3 - differentiation of vocabulary and grammar –Transition from stage 2 to 3 can be difficult

16 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q15. If a child is spoken to in two languages from birth, will they speak later? No significant difference Bilingual children may speak a little earlier that monolinguals

17 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q16. Do monolingual children make fun of bilingual children? Teasing peers is common, this may in fact be jealousy Explain to child they have something others dont have Can you speak only ONE language?

18 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q17. Teach child to read and write in the language if not taught at school? R and W are essential parts of the language, keeps language alive Access to literature and knowledge of the culture Some researchers suggest a child becomes literate in home language before entering school Others suggest bilingual children can learn R and W in both languages at the same time Less confusion than speaking in two languages

19 Why Dont You Ask Your Teacher? Diane Price, ACU Community Languages ConferenceJuly Q18. Materials for helping my child become bilingual? Books Cassettes, videos Games Family activities, excursions etc


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