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Research Presentation

Eva Shen

on 22 October 2013

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Transcript of Bilingualism

Thank You
The Bilingual Household
How does growing up in a bilingual household affect a child's development intellectually and emotionally?
Cultural Identity

A command system [in the brain] that directs the attention processes
that we use for planning, solving problems and
performing various other mentally demanding tasks.
Theses processes include ignoring distractions to stay focused, switching attention willfully from one thing to another and holding information in the mind.”- Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, a staff writer at Science Magazine
Executive Control System
Problem solving
Ignoring distractions
Staying focused
Switching attention
What people used to think about bilingualism:
Negative effect on vocabulary
Expressive vocabulary: Words one uses in conversation
Receptive vocabulary: Words one understands
Difference in receptive and expressive vocabularies suggests that bilinguals have more difficulty accessing words.
Newer research uncovered benefits:
Elizabeth Peal and Wallace Lambert study
The stress strengthens the brain
Executive Control System
Easier to learn new languages.
"When I'm learning Spanish [in school], I can
refer to Bengali and English
, which
helps me with grammar
."- Student 2
Counteracts the negative effects of low socioeconomic status
A bilingual curriculum is more accessible
than other extracurricular activities
Promoting native languages improves abilities in the school language
Rejecting bilingualism will hurt the students
Learning new languages is an emotional event
Children learn how to express their emotions from their parents.
Bilingual parents may switch between languages to change cultural values.
Physiological response
Deteriorating Language Ability
Bengali does not come as natural to me
anymore, even though it was my first language. [...] I speak English to my parents and they respond in Bengali, so
I feel like we’re not on the same page sometimes.
A lot of
words don’t translate
from Bengali to English.”
-Student 2
When children can no longer speak their mother tongue, they feel emotionally detached from their families.
Personality and cultural values shift
Learning a language to create an identity
Pattern in personality shifts
Modesty is valued more highly in Mexico
than it is in the United States, where assertiveness gains respect, and the language of the questions seemed to trigger these differences. When
quizzed in Spanish, each volunteer was more humbled
than when the survey was presented in English" -Catherine de Lange
Higher mental health scores among bilinguals compared to monolinguals
Influences on Emotions
“I feel
left out
more because of
, not bilingualism.” -Student 2
“I feel like there’s a huge
between American and Indian culture because they don’t understand each other at all. I’ve experienced people from both cultures
making fun of the other
.” -Student 2
Claire Kramsch study
Learning a language could give the learner a positive sense of achievement or a negative feeling of inadequacy and incapability.
Gratias Ago Vos

Helps bilinguals in school and with other activities and skills.
By: Eva Shen
Emma Yeager
Research Question:
Cultural flexibility:
Cultural disconnect:
“I seem to be the same person, except I think I am a bit
less confident
and more shy when I am talking in Spanish
because I am not as good
at it anymore.”
“My personality is
completely different
when I speak Bengali. A lot of people say I sound

all cute and innocent. That might be because
I’m less comfortable with Bengali
languages that I don’t know as well
, when I talk, I have a lot
less personality
because I’m thinking about which words to use.
Student 3
Student 2
Student 1
School Environment
Better Executive Control System
New Language Learning
Mentally Demanding Tasks
Feelings of Achievement
Cultural Flexibility
Limits Vocabulary
Feelings of Inadequacy
Emotional Detachment
Brain Stress
Emotional Development
Personality Shifts
Personal connection
Bilingualism in the U.S.
20% (mostly Spanish-English)
More Diverse Interviews
More Cognitive Research
More Statistics
Embrace bilingualism
Bilingualism was unpopular in America.
Hinder a child’s ability to speak either languages fluently
Though to lower bilinguals' IQ.
Stress in the brain will confuse kids
Methods and Reflection
Journals, Articles and Studies
Difficult organizing information
Literature reviews were helpful
Full transcript