//
TESOL – Bilingualism

I have chosen to focus on a project I am currently involved with. The target group are Somali refugees. The project is an English Language group, for English learners who are undergoing an intense, fulltime course of English language study.

Bilingualism and bilingual education seem to go together with IP, in that many bilingual people report thinking differently when they use the TL compared to the L1 (Baker 2006).

The language group will be made up of learners of all ages, none of whom spoke English before arriving in Australia. As such, the largest group will be late bilinguals, learning during adolescence or later, followed by early sequential learners, in early childhood. It is also possible that some simultaneous learners will be present, who are learning both Somali or Arabic and English at the same time (although this is uncertain at this stage).

In the past, the main focus of research was on the person and the product, trying to prove that bilinguals perform better than monolinguals (Baker 2006). In more recent times, the focus of research has been on the process of achieving bilingualism. In particular, researchers have studied the metalinguistic awareness of bilingual children (Baker 2006).

Metalinguistic awareness refers to thinking about and reflecting upon the nature and functions of language (Baker 2006). We feel we can apply these principles particularly to the older learners, who have already learnt a language structure, so do not need to relearn that aspect of language.

We also expect that some parents will wish for their children to learn the parent’s native language, as well as English, similar to the mothers teaching their children Luxembourgish in Kirsch’s (2012) article. While there may be some future use of Arabic, it is questionable whether Somali will have long term benefits for the children. However, as the parent’s native language is likely to be the most spoken at home, it is highly likely that the children, receiving such exposure, will naturally acquire the language. This is due to the fact that the parent’s English is very limited.

We are not completely sure how bilingualism will have an effect on the running of the language group, but we intend to make observations of the three learner groups, in particular the simultaneous bilinguals and sequential bilinguals. We will monitor in younger learners whether the parent’s L1 is dominating the L2 (English), as described in The Handbook of Bilingualism, Chapter 5 by Butler & Hakuta (2004).

Butler & Hakuta (2004) describe that in simultaneous bilinguals, one language is usually stronger than the other. We feel it is important to monitor this, to ensure that English becomes the dominant language, as this is the language that the learners will be required to use most in their school years. Butler & Hakuta (2004) also describe that in sequential bilinguals, there is the potential to lose ability in the first language.

Butler & Hakuta (2004) also report that many kids can differentiate languages by age 2, and mixing of languages has almost gone by age 3. During this time, competition between languages can exist. We hope that we can make parents aware of this, and that they will switch to English from Somali/Arabic frequently, similar to the Luxembourgish mothers in Kirsch (2012).

Another problem which may arise is repetition blindness, which is inability to recall repeated words when presented rapidly Butler & Hakuta (2004). It may be prudent to point this out to the members of the language group, so that they are aware of it when it is pointed out.

Another factor to consider is L1 and L2 acquisition differences, such as feeling limited expressing personality in L2, because already accustomed so doing so in L1 (Butler & Hakuta 2004). This can lead to problems in language transfer, including negative transfer (interference) where L1 and L2 grammar are different. Positive transfer is where L1 and L2 grammar are the same (Butler & Hakuta 2004).

In this respect, we will rely on translators to guide the facilitators about the grammatical differences between Arabic/Somali and English. We can then try to predict where errors are likely to occur.

There are a number of factors identified by Butler & Hakuta (2004). These include age, interaction between L1 and L2, and socio-psychological factors (identity and attitude), that we feel we need to investigate more, to allow the participants in the language group to obtain optimal benefit from it.

Reference List

Baker, C. (2006). Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (Fourth ed.). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Pp 142 – 165

Brown, D. H. (2000) Principles of language kearning and teaching (4th ed.). White Plains, NY: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. Pp 207-243

Butler, Y. G., & Hakuta, K. (2004). Bilingualism and second language acquisition. In T. K. Bhatia & W. C. Ritchie (Eds.), The handbook of bilingualism (pp. 114-144). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Corder, S. P. (1967). The significance of learners’ errors. International Review of Applied Linguistics 4: 161-169.

Eckman, F. R. (1977) “Markedness and contrastive analysis hypothesis.” Language Learning, 27, Pp 315-330

Kirsch, C. (2012). Ideologies, struggles and contradictions: an account of mothers raising their children bilingually in Luxembourgish and English in Great Britain. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 15(1), 95-112.

Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2006). How Languages are Learned (Revised Edition ). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp 53 – 76

Mitchell, R., & Myles., F. (2004). Second language learning theories (Second ed.). London: Arnold. Pp 29 – 44

Wannaruk, A. (2008). Pragmatic Transfer in Thai EFL Refusals. RELC, 39(3), 318-337.

Unreferenced Sources 

Chan, A. Y. W. (2004). Syntactic Transfer: Evidence from the Interlanguage of Hong Kong Chinese ESL Learners. The Modern Language Journal., 88(i), 56-74.

DeKeyser, Robert M. 2000. The robustness of critical period effects in second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 22: 499-533.

Eggins, S. 2004. An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Continuum. Pp54-75.

Gass, S., & Selinker, L. (2008). Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course (Third ed.). New York: Routledge.  Pp160 – 172

Ioup, Georgette, Elizabeth Boustagui, Manal El Tigi and Martha Moselle. 1994. Reexamining the critical period hypothesis. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 16: 73-98.

Krashen, S. D. 1994. The Input Hypothesis and its rivals. In N. C. Ellis (ed). Implicit and Explicit Learning of Languages. London: Academic Press. pp45-77.

Muir, C., Morales, Y., Falchi, L., & Garcia, O. (2008). Myths and Realities. In O. Garcia (Ed.), Bilingual Education in the 21st Century:  A Global Perspective. U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.

Pavlenko, A. (2006). Bilingual selves. In A. Pavlenko (Ed.), Bilingual minds: Emotional experience, expression, and representation. . Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Schumann, John H. (1986). Research on the acculturation model for second language acquisition. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 7 (5): 379-392. 

Paltridge, B. (2001). Genre and the Language Learning Classroom. AnnArbor: The University of Michigan Press.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,946 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

Cadence Column: Asia, September 20, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, September 20, 2021

China steps up expansion via Hong Kong elections. Seven editors are banned from Wikipedia on concerns of not acting in good faith and with relation to China. The US sails through the Taiwan Straight again, this time a destroyer. Taiwan wants more backup runways for fighter jets. Escalations only continue and no side shows any […]

China adds powerful new ship to maritime patrol fleet

China adds powerful new ship to maritime patrol fleet

China has added a new powerful ship to its fleet of maritime patrol vessels in the South China Sea, state media has reported. The 5,560-ton Hai Xun 03 was launched on Tuesday and will become the largest ocean patrol ship under the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration (MSA), the official China News Service reported, adding that […]

A lesson in political economy on investments in China

A lesson in political economy on investments in China

Paul Krugman, the eminent Nobel laureate in economics, recalls how companies are different from nations and their reasons. Business managers have different perspectives. It is economists – not managers – who place the question of foreign trade, the balance of payments and the exchange rate at the center of their reflections. Since 1989, China and […]

Are China’s climate promises just a load of hot air? (Yes!)

Are China’s climate promises just a load of hot air? (Yes!)

China is prepared to hold its cooperation on climate issues hostage to Western concessions elsewhere. Few cities in China represent the country’s addiction to coal more than Tianjin, where Alok Sharma travelled this week to talk about cooperation on climate issues. It sits on the coast of one of China’s most polluted regions, and its […]

The vanishing allure of doing business in China

The vanishing allure of doing business in China

It is nothing new for foreign firms to endure shakedowns by the Chinese Communist Party. As far back as revolutionary times, Chairman Mao’s victorious troops did not directly confiscate foreign-owned assets as their Bolshevik forerunners had done in Russia. Instead, they wore them down with higher taxes and fines so big that eventually companies gave […]

Wikipedia blames pro-China infiltration for bans

Wikipedia blames pro-China infiltration for bans

Wikipedia has suffered an “infiltration” that sought to advance the aims of China, the US non-profit organisation that owns the volunteer-edited encyclopaedia has said. The Wikimedia Foundation told BBC News the infiltration had threatened the “very foundations of Wikipedia”. The foundation banned seven editors linked to a mainland China group. Wikimedians of Mainland China accused […]

Diaries of former Mao aide spark custody battle over unofficial history of China

Diaries of former Mao aide spark custody battle over unofficial history of China

Today, “Li materials” are the subject of a legal battle between Stanford University and Mr. Li’s widow in Beijing. This is a battle for custody of an unofficial history of China. In millions of handwritten Chinese characters, Mr. Li documents his early days in the party, the revolution that brought him to power and his […]

World’s dirtiest cities list raises issue: Why don’t politicians call out China?

World’s dirtiest cities list raises issue: Why don’t politicians call out China?

Ponder this: A new tally of global cities’ emissions finds that the top 25 are responsible for 52% of the planet’s urban greenhouse gas emissions. Twenty-three of those are in China. New York City is the first American city to appear, at No. 26. Out of the top 75, just four other American cities are listed […]

Cadence Column: Asia, September 13, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, September 13, 2021

The easiest solution to China’s escalating situation in the South Sea is to enforce China’s own formal statements at face value. China says they respect other countries and do not want to militarize the South Sea. Leave it at that. Any disrespect toward other countries is not at the behest of Xijinping. Any militarization of […]

Why is Iran so keen on joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation?

Why is Iran so keen on joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation?

What Happened: Iran became an observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – originally comprised of China, Russia, and 4 Central Asian republics – back in 2005. In the 16 years since, Tehran has consistently pushed for an upgrade to full membership, particularly after the SCO underwent its first expansion, adding India and Pakistan, in 2017. […]

%d bloggers like this: