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+ Shaping the bilingual advantages from early ages: for whom, when and how? María Luisa Parra Harvard University Seventh Heritage Language Research Institute:

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Presentation on theme: "+ Shaping the bilingual advantages from early ages: for whom, when and how? María Luisa Parra Harvard University Seventh Heritage Language Research Institute:"— Presentation transcript:

1 + Shaping the bilingual advantages from early ages: for whom, when and how? María Luisa Parra Harvard University Seventh Heritage Language Research Institute: Heritage Speakers and the Advantages of Bilingualism June 17-21, 2013

2 + Advocating for bilingualism Cognitive Social and Cultural advantages

3 + Different social circumstances under which a child can become bilingual (Skutnabb-Kangas, 1984). Children belong to the (elite) group where parents choose to give them the opportunity to learn languages as part of their education. Others belong to linguistic majorities that because of linguistic policies of their government, their education is in a different language that the one spoken at home. Children belonging to bilingual families. Children from linguistic minorities that, along with their parents do not have another choice but to learn the main stream language.

4 + Language maintenance and Bilingualism: Advantage or disadvantage? It must be borne in mind that the development of language, and hence bilinguality, is part and parcel of the socialization process through which a child becomes a member of a given social group. “The bilingual’s development and behavior cannot be considered independenly from society, its structure and its cultural dimension.(Hamers & Blanc, p.198 ). Hakuta (1986): The field of bilingual development and heritage language maintenance should deal with the individual and the circumstances that surround him at the onset and beyond of her bilingual development.

5 + Central concept The active child…Child develops (cognition, social, skills, language) through participation in cultural contexts, socialization practices and meaningful interactions through dialogue with significant others (parents, siblings, teachers, peers).

6 + Language development: process intertwined with other aspects of development Language B Cognitive development Social / cultural development Emotional development Language A Anchored in daily practices and interactions

7 + Importance of family for child’s socialization and language maintenance ( Fishman, 2006) “ Family is the very building-block of intergenerational transmission” “It is in the family that social support and transactions with the community have traditionally been initiated and nurtured. It is also in the family that social commitments have traditionally been nurtured” (p.104).

8 + School programs for immigrant children Regular English program ESL Sheltered English Bilingual programs Two way Transitional Early exit Late exit

9 + Objetctives To present data from a one-year longitudinal study of four Latino children in a transitional bilingual kindergarten program in the Boston area. To show how the interplay between home and school relations shape bilingual advantages from early ages. Will use an ecological framework (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) to conceptualized Spanish maintenance and English acquisition as part of the school adaptation process (García-Sellers, 1996).

10 Peers/Siblings School Religious setting Home The Ecological Model (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) Community Culture

11 + Mesosystem: Interaction between the Home-School microsystems Family System School System Structure Roles History Expectations Values Resources History Structure Roles Expectations Values SES Stability Overall satisfaction Culture Organize behaviors through System of believes ( Super & Harkness, 2002) Organize behaviors through System of believes Language Attitudes towards other cultures and languages Attitudes towards host cultures and language

12 Conceptual Model of Home-School Relations Garcia Sellers, MJ (1996) Home School Home School Child Home School Child Home School Child UnadaptedTransferred Adapted Adapted with Support Child Home School Child In the modal U.S. family, there is a large overlap between home and school culture that facilitates the child ’ s adaptation to school. For immigrant families there is little or no overlap, thus requiring significant adjustment by the child in order to adapt.

13 + T ransitional bilingual programs: “In theory” aim to provide continuity between home and school through instruction in the home language. Home School Child Spanish

14 + However… García-Sellers, Liva-Stein & García (2000) found in a longitudinal study three developmental patters of Spanish/English bilingual development within transitional bilingual programs: Both languages develop English develops / Spanish stagnates Both languages develop Patterns of language preference and proficiency change over time. Spanish is the language with most variability and the language at risk.

15 + T he Home-School Connection Program (Tufts University) Goals To facilitate school transition To promote school success of children To strengthen communication between teachers and parents through common goals HSCP ©

16 Academic and social success: A triangular process Teacher Family I Where to start building support for immigrant children? SchoolFamily Wellbeing and development From The Home-School Connection Program, Tufts University Child Defining Common Goals

17 + Methodology Developmental Psychology (Ecological model, Bronfenbrenner, 1979):Child development in context. Sociolinguistics: Language(s) use in society and power relations. Ethnography: the nuances of school and families realities and interactions (Home visits and classroom observations). Mediation between parents and teachers.

18 + Three sources of information Mother TeacherMediator

19 + Concepts Continuity and communication between home and school Child’s transition from home to school. Role of perception (parents, teacher, mediator) in assessing child’s language development, academic achievement and social behavior.

20 + September 1 st. Home Visit November Classroom Observation January Language Picture Naming /Child interview March/April Teacher Interview March Phone follow up June 2 nd. home visit Important dates in the year

21 + Four case studies Santos Krissia Leonard Bryan

22 + Santos Only child Shy, obedient. Parents from El Salvador (4 years in the US). Both parents speak Spanish to Santos (Mother doesn’t know English). Mother's education: 2nd grade Father: No formal education. Poor relation with Santos

23 + Krissia Youngest sister. Active, rebellious, very social Mother from Honduras (15 years in the US) Mother's education: Paraprofesional in Honduras (Equivalent to US high school). Owner of a daycare center at her house. Both parents speak Spanish and English but only speak Spanish with girls.

24 + Leonard Second son on three children Quiet, serious, even sad look. "Good boy" "Sometimes doesn't listen." Parents left him in Peru with grandmother. Mother’s education: High School They brought him to the US with them after 2 years. Moved three times in a year and a half.

25 + Bryan 6 years old Good boy, loving, active. Born in Honduras. Arrived to the U.S at 2. Mother has 6 years in US Mothers education: College Parents and Bryan live at uncle's house

26 + All four mothers… Spoke only Spanish to children Wanted children to go to college Expected children to maintain Spanish and learn English Supportive

27 + Language use at home (reported by mothers) (September) Santos Prefers Spanish (“too shy to speak English”) Krissia Intermix Spanish with parents English with siblings, and sometimes with parents Leonard Intermix with older sister Bryan Intermix. English with cousins All mothers speak only Spanish to children

28 + Things that child and mother did together Santos Talk Household chores Errands Krissia Play games Talk Leonard Read Draw or paint Play gamoes (legos) Bryan Talk

29 + Fist home visit assessment (reported by mediator) Santos Identified colors Shapes Counted 1-10 Writes name (letter inversion) Named letter “a” and “e” Only in Spanish Krissia Identified colors Shapes Counted 1-10 Writes name Couldn’t name letters Only Spanish Leonard Identified colors Shapes Counted 1-10 Writes name Confused between letters and numbers Spanish/English Bryan Identified colors Shapes Counted 1-10* Writes name Identifies letters in English

30 + At school

31 + School experience previous to K Santos Head Start Studious Krissia Head Start Needs to be pushed Leonard Attended Pre-K in Peru. Regular K in CA Repeating K in MA Needs to be pushed Bryan Smile Studious

32 + NameAcademic programChange in the middle of school year SantosTransitional Bilingual RECOMENDED Ms. Díaz (Spanish speaker, Puerto Rico) KrissiaTransitional Bilingual REQUESTED Ms. Peterson (English speaker, bilingual) Transitional Bilingual Ms. Díaz LeonardTransitional Bilingual RECOMENDED Ms. Peterson Transitional Bilingual Ms. Díaz BryanEnglish regular REQUESTED Ms. Lynch (English speaker)

33 + Classroom observation: Language use in classroom activities/outside classroom activities with peers (reported by mediator) (November) Bryan Spanish/English Leonard Spanish/English Krissia Spanish/English Santos Spanish Spanish/Spanish English/English Spanish/Spanish- English At home At School

34 + Child’s language in interaction with teacher (reported by teacher) (March/April) ChildTeacher’s language of interaction with child SantosSpanish (Miss Díaz) KrissiaSpanish/English (Miss Peterson) LeonardSpanish/English (Miss Peterson) BryanEnglish

35 + Child Interview (January) SantosKrissiaLeonardBryan Which languages do you speak Sp./Eng. Child added English Sp./Eng. Language preference for interview Spanish English

36 + Child language preference SantosKrissiaLeonardBryan What language do you like to speak with other children (All consistent with mediator observations) SpanishSp./Eng. But added Spanish with your teacher (All consistent w/teacher) Spanish Sp./Eng.English at home (All consistent w/mother) SpanishSp./Eng. Spanish

37 + Preference and Proficiency in Spanish and English (Picture Naming)

38 + Miss Peterson retired… Krissia and Leonard go to Miss Díaz classroom

39 + Language use (reported by teacher): Language use un classroom activities/outside classroom activities (April) Bryan Spanish/ English Leonard Spanish/English Krissia Spanish/English Santos Spanish Spanish/Spanish & English Spanish/Spanish English/EnglishSpanish/Spanish Miss Díaz adds information: Santos speaks English (mother and mediator reported Spanish only). She also reports only Spanish for Krissia and Leonard (mother and former teacher reported use on both Spanish and English). At home At School

40 + Teacher Interview (April) SantosKrissiaLeonardBryan Is the child quietYes No Is the child withdrawnNo Does the child needs more of your presence than other children No Yes Do you have any concernsNoneAttention in class Reading Writing Social skills Attention in class In which area has the child manifested strengths Language Motor skills Social skills Attention in class Motor skills Social skills Motor skills (art) Motor skills Letter and sound recognition Is the child enjoying schoolYes Has the child adjusted to the class Yes

41 + Phone follow up: Academics and social skills (reported by mother) Santos Concerned that he was too shy Doing pretty well. Likes Kinder and doesn’t complain. He says he has friends and talks about activities and games. He can express himself better. He has learn letters and numbers He has improved his relationship with is father. He is organized, clean. Mother is concerned about new baby arriving soon (Who will bring Santos to school?) Krissia. Talks too much. Very active and social. Very good She loved previous teacher. She doesn’t like new one “She is mean.” (Mother knows girl likes to talk too much and teacher reprimands her). Talks about her friends and things they do. She has learned letters and numbers. Mother is not concerned: “Krissia is learning and ready for next year.” At the beginning of the year Follow up late March

42 + Follow up: Academics and social skills (reported by mother) Leonard Introverted. Didn’t want to go to school. Serious, sad look. Fine He doesn’t say much about school. He didn`t like previous teacher but with new teacher he seems to be doing better. Doesn`t say much about friends. He has learned not good manners from other boy. He is becoming more aggressive and jealous of new baby. Mother says he has a difficult temperament and not everybody likes him. Mother concerned about academic progress. Bryan Too active at school Very well. Much better He says everything is going well. He is happy and learning numbers and art. He likes to play with classmates. Bryan in more settled and less active. Teacher says his behavior has improved and he is doing very well. Mother is not concerned anymore. At the beginning of the year Follow up late March

43 + Follow up: Language changes over time (Reported by mothers) Santos Prefers Spanish “Has improved his Spanish. He has also learned some words in English.” He prefers Spanish. He is too shy to speak English with other kids in his classroom.* Krissia. Spanish with parents. English with siblings. “She is learning a lot of English.” Mother says she also sees some progress in Spanish. “She prefers English with cousins. She translates a lot.” At the beginning of the year By late Macrh

44 + Language changes over time (Reported by mothers) Leonard Intermix with older sister “Apparently he prefers more English. At least that is the language he seems to be learning more” Bryan Intermix. English with cousins. “He has improved in both but prefers English.” At the beginning of the year By late March

45 + Academics at the end of the year (reported by teacher) SantosKrissiaLeonardBryan Taking into account the overall academic performance, how would you rate the child in the class Top thirdMiddle thirdBottom third What do you think parents could do more in order to support the child school progress Nothing more Academics at home Work on daily routine Set limits at home

46 + Mother-Teacher relations Santos TBP Recommended Wanted to help in classroom Met teacher around 10 times during school year Krissia TBP Requested Wanted to communicate with teacher when necessary Met 2-4 times Leonard TBP Recommended Didn’t know how to get involved in school Met 2-4 times Bryan TBP Requested Wanted to communicate with teacher when necessary Met 2-4 times

47 + Individual and social factors that shaped Spanish development and English acquisition and academic success W ithin social contexts (immigrant population/bilingual families) there are important individual differences that result from: Child temperament Family circumstances Relationship between parents and child (supportive?) Schooling options and parental choices (would support parents expectations?) Relationship between parents and teachers (continuous? / agreement in perception of child’s linguistic and academic abilities?) Relationship between teacher and child (supportive?)

48 + Ecological perspective Hornberger and Wang (2008) : “[...] [Heritage language learners] do not learn or use one, two or more languages in isolation. Consequently, there is no single profile of [heritage language learners]. Taken from this perspective, these individuals, their interactions with the people around them, and their dynamic interface with the social, educational, cultural, economic and political institutions constitute an ecological system. In such system, individuals are the center of inquiry, but they are also always a part of a larger system which they shape and are shaped by various factors in the system.” (p. 6).

49 + An interdisciplinary and integral approach to language maintenance and to educate the next generation of heritage parents and teachers. Education Develop mental Psycholo gy Sociolinguistics Ethnogra phy

50 +


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