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Helen Mills

on 30 September 2012

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Transcript of Bilingualism

The best strategy to teach children more than one language Bilingualism Simulatinous vs Sequential language learning What is bilingalism? Relevant for who? Immigrants
Mixed couples
'Hobby' Success factors Age
Learning style: holistic vs analytical Positive effects Better understanding language concept
Easier to learn another language
Better memory / neural connections 'Danger' factors Transfer
Refusing to speak second language Google: bilingual children Internet search http://www.omniglot.com/language/articles/bilingualkids1.htm Raising bilingual children:
5 steps to success 1. Family agreement (discuss & compromise)
2. Enthusiastic, yet realistic (not too many)
3. Practical plan (who speaks which language?)
4. Get together (support network, play dates, exposure to language
5. Be patient (long term commitment) Different methods of success: 1. One person, one language (OPOL)
Consistently one parent per language
Extra language supplements:
playgroups, visits, books, etc
2. Minority Language at Home (ML@H)
Whole family speaks 'foreign' language
Does this disadvantage children?
3. Variations
1 language spoken every day, other one during holidays to that country
1 language per situation (in/out door) http://www.ustwaddethus.nl/taalbeleid.php?cat=4 Bilingual Language approach Frisian childcare center Why is this encouraged by politicians?
Bilingual children...
comprehend (national) language better
learn other languages faster
have better working memory One member of staff, uses one language consistently
(even to non-Frisian speaking colleague, parents & children)
Children learn songs and hear stories in Dutch & Frisian
Staff not allowed to switch languages Which method does this form of childcare use? Goal: This 2 language environment
stimulates respect for other languages
social learning opportunity Real life experience working with children who speak a different language Interview with preschool teacher
(children's age 2-4) Scientific research... ...to back up or contradict methods suggested by websites & practical experience References Conclusion & Discussion OPOL or ML@H?
0r variation of this? Suggestions for researching these systems? Best advice for parents & teachers? OPOL ML@H Bilingual
education RUG 03-10-2012 Helen Mills Singerman-Goodz (1989)
'Parental Language Mixing in Bilingual families'
Longitudinal research observations 4 first-borns and their parents. Main aim: to investigate OPOL and language mixing Key findgings: In the interview I asked what strategies are use with non-Dutch speaking children, if they have specific language programs, if they promote bilingualism, what/who they refer to if there are any problems with language learning and I asked about the teacher's personal experience working with OPOL in her previous job (Frisian) English or Frisian no problem. Other languages: only Dutch. Language Tools:
'Puk & co, 'Reading Bag', 'Opstapje', observation by health visitors (consultatiebureau) or VTO (multidisciplinary team). Used to have special 3+ language group
Not anymore because of government spending cuts! Bilingual promotion:
sing English/Turkish birthday song, translate story of child, giving Frisian books Working with OPOL:
unnatural, 'over-the-top', didn't feel right No 'strictly Dutch' policy, first aim is to make the child feel secure Some switching & mixing with all parents (while stating to use OPOL)
Mothers more than fathers (desire for communication)
When child speaks first words...
Great variation across families
'Mistakes' of child not confusion but 'experimenting with language, monolinguals also make mistakes: mouses/mice Manchilla-Matinex&Lessaux (2011)
'Early home language use & later vocabulary development'
Longitudinal study 180 families(4,5- 12 year old)
3 groups: Mostly English, Mostly Spanish and Equal amount Spanish & English. (all low income!)
Assessed Spanish & English vocabulary with Woodstock Language Proficiency Battery Revised every year 1. 'English' group highest level of English vocabulary at 4,5 yr. '
2. 'English' group showed minimal growth, other groups higher rates of growth (after initial gap)
3. Spanish vocabulary started out well below national norms, gaps persisted & widened, minimal variation across groups.
ML@H not sufficient for Minority Language without formal instruction & language aids
Minority language does not interfere with national language, it might aid it Key Findings: Moin etal. (2011). Case study teachers' view bilingual kindergartens (German / Hebrew - Russian) in Germany & Israel. (Children age 3-6)
Qualitative Research using Critical Discourse Analysis.
Observations, semi structured interviews, life histories Main Findings: Weak & Strong forms of (immigrant)education:
Weak: One language (either minor or majority language)
Strong: Bilingual education (offers children 2 languages & cultures)

Language policy in both languages not in national curricula
Both kindergartens more teaching activities than monolingual education
Germany more child-led approach, used OPOL
Israel more teacher-led approach, emphasis on Hebrew (ML@H) Best strategy for successful bilingualism? Advice: stick to one language as much as possible, with some form of flexibility. Example: Mother mainly speaks English to the child, but Dutch to the teacher and when other people in the daily environment speak Dutch. Using OPOL, ML@H or a third alternative depends on the personal preference of the parents and the context they live in (see intro slide) After combining web sources, practice & theory the conclusion is: Manchilla-Martinez, J. & Lesaux, K.N. (2011). Early Home Language use and Later Vocabulary Development. Journal of Educational Psychology. Vol. 103:3, 535-546
Moin, V., Breitkopf, A. & Swartz, M. (2011). Teachers' view on organizational and pedagogical approaches to early bilingual education: a case study of bilingual kindergartens in Germany and Israel. Teaching & Teacher Education. Vol. 27, 1008-1018
Singerman Goodz, N. (1989). Parental Language Mixing in Bilingual Families. Infant Mental Health Journal. Vol. 10:1, 25-44
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