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Bilingualism, intelligence, transfer, and learning strategies

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1 Bilingualism, intelligence, transfer, and learning strategies
Steinberg & Sciarini 2008 Chapter 8 Bilingualism, intelligence, transfer, and learning strategies

2 Varieties of bilingualism
Assumption: language “can be acquired through a variety of modalities (sound (speaking), sight (writing), visual motion (signs)). Varieties: Two spoken languages, two sign languages, spoken German, Japanese sign language, written Chinese and spoken Korean, etc.

3 Detrimental… (early half of the 20th century)
Concern: The learning of the second language would ‘retard’ or negatively influence the learning of the native language. It would intellectually ‘retard the development of thinking and of such cognitive capacities as math and reading.

4 Starting in the 1960s… Attitudes towards foreign languages changed significantly to the positive. Positive reports: English immersion program in Japan (Bostwick, 1999) found no negative effects. Lambert (1962) found greater mental flexibility and abstract thought in bilinguals. Bain and Yu (1980) found that the bilinguals were superior to the monolinguals. (pp ) (c)Negative reports: Goddard (1917) found that less than half of the adult immigrants could provide only 60 words on the word fluency portion of the test. (p. 164) Smith (1939) argued that bilingualism caused regardation in language development of bilinguals in Hawaii who had many more errors in their English speech than White monolinguals in Iowa. (p. 162)

5 Conclusions Sequential and simultaneous learning situations:
sequential: second language being learned later at school simultaneous: exposed to two languages in the home at the same time

6 Sequential learning Four common stages:
Silent period: trying to use the home language outside home, realizing that others do not understand, so becoming silent Abandonment of home language Using second and home language in a similar way Producing grammatical utterances appropriately

7 Simultaneous learning
One person (1P) – one language (1L) e.g., mother (Japanese) father (Korean) (b)1P – 2L e.g., mother (Japanese/English) father (Japanese/English) (c) (1P-1L) x 3 (e.g., Japanese mother, French father, and Korean babysitter) Conclusion: 1P – 1L is better

8 The transfer effect -similarity relationship between L1 and L2 will determine the learning rate (p. 168) (e.g., English vs. French vs. Spanish, etc.) in terms of vocabulary, pronunciation, syntax, etc. (Ringbom, 1978). (p. 169) -the greater the similarity between two languages in terms of their syntax, vocabulary, and sound system, the more rapid the rate of acquisition in L1 and L2.

9 Facilitation among different languages
-facilitation occurs even between very different languages. -commonality between different languages Words have a set of morphemes. Basic constituents (N, V, Adj, etc.) must be ordered in some way. Words and sentences represent objects, ideas, situation, and events.

10 Strategies for L2 production
-errors caused by interference from L1 “Now Tom happy is” (by a Japanese) -errors by L2 strategy “Afterwards they ate the dinner.” -overgeneralization

11 Strategies for a better L2 learner
verification: check to see if their (learners’) hypotheses about L2 are correct Inductive processing: creating hypotheses about L2 based on L1 and L2 Deductive reasoning: using general logic in problem solving Practice: repetition, rehearsal, imitation Memorization: repetitions to store and retrieve Monitoring: monitoring errors and how one’s message is received by the listener.

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