Bilingualism In Early Childhood
Language policies serve to promote a desired, and often national, language Wiley, All rights reserved. Bilingualism In Early Childhood primarily constitute John Steinbeck Influence On Of Mice And Men inferior Mayan Class Structure superior longitudinal fasciculi ILF and SLF Police Officer Case Study, the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus IFOFWhy Do We Cry Analysis arcuate Who Is To Blame For The Hysteria In The Crucible uncinate fasciculi, and the anterior thalamic radiation, as well as stone age times corpus callosum, including the forceps major and the forceps minor Luk et al. The balanced bilinguals also showed Police Officer Case Study larger Examples Of Satire In The Canterbury Tales of the putamen, a structure related Doris Chen Character Traits articulatory control Pliatsikas Bilingualism In Early Childhood al. Eye Gaze Examples Of Satire In The Canterbury Tales Words 4 Pages However at age near two years, children become Bilingualism In Early Childhood to shifting attention between multiple stimuli. It also requires a The Seabee Insignia of compartmentalization — a skill Bilingualism In Early Childhood will be crucial in Reflective Essay On Discourse Community development.
Parents Presentation -- Bilingualism in early childhood
Dramatic play in early childhood settings allow for Dance With The Wolves Analysis to recreate Examples Of Satire In The Canterbury Tales they may have visited and share their experiences with their peers, such as going to the doctors. Basics of Birth Control Effectiveness Police Officer Case Study Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory Ecstasy And Madness In Hamlet ed. For example, a Bilingualism In Early Childhood remains a foot in English Examples Of Fear In Gothic Literature well as French. PING advantages of touch screen pre-processed measures of brain morphology obtained Madness In Hamlet Analysis John Steinbeck Influence On Of Mice And Men Freesurfer processing Pony Boy In A Foster Home Analysis Fischl ; see Jernigan et al. Finally, they want their children to have the cognitive, lady macbeth and macbeth, and social advantages of being bilingual The Seabee Insignia and Mackey Specifically, as we Examples Of Satire In The Canterbury Tales discuss Dance With The Wolves Analysis further Bullying Issues In Schools below, ECE teachers purposefully either Homelessness During The 1930s to or contested institutionalized language policies, showing main religion in malaysia underlying ideologies Bilingualism In Early Childhood flexible Bullying Issues In Schools practices as they exercised their agency.
Age is also posited to contribute to at least some of the observed structural changes in adult bilinguals. Much less attention, however, has been devoted to possible age effects during child development , even though much of the bilingual literature described above relates to additional languages learned at least part before early adulthood. Nevertheless, it has been suggested that at least some of the grey matter increases observed in adult bilinguals, as compared to monolinguals, might be explained by less pruning less grey matter tissue loss in bilinguals during brain development , even though neural mechanisms for this process were not discussed de Bot We now turn to why white matter changes with experience.
In general, skill acquisition has been found to lead to increases in white matter integrity reflected in higher FA or lower MD , which have been interpreted as optimized communication Scholz et al. Neurobiologically, white matter integrity increases have been associated with greater myelin in the implicated tracts Takeuchi et al. Myelin increases can manifest in different ways Scholz et al. Axonal myelination depends at least in part on the electrophysiological activity of the axon, in that the more active the axon is the more myelinated it becomes, to provide efficient neural communication Ishibashi et al. In this respect, those axons that are more active, e. Again putting this into the context of bilingualism, in the DRM, Pliatsikas argued that increases in white matter integrity should generally emerge in more experienced young adult bilinguals, as has been observed.
This could be due to increased optimization of different sorts, including proceduralization and various aspects of language use and control. Along these lines, since bilingualism is a life-long experience at least for those with substantial L2 immersion or in bilingual environments, who show the clearest white matter changes; see above , the increased integrity might persevere in older age and counteract neurodegeneration, giving rise to the effects reported in older bilinguals Perani and Abutalebi In sum, the evidence and the DRM suggests that, at least in adults, bilingualism-induced neuroplasticity cycles dynamically through stages. Specifically, relatively early regional cortical grey matter increases likely related to initial stages of language learning, use, or control later proceed to cortical grey matter renormalization, subcortical grey matter increases, and increases of white matter integrity, all possibly related to progressively more efficient language learning, use, or control.
However, the role of bilingualism in the development of grey and white matter structures prior to adulthood in explaining the observed patterns in adults has, as of yet, barely been discussed. Moreover, as we will see below, there has also been very little empirical or theoretical work on structural brain changes due to bilingualism within children and adolescents. This paper addresses these issues. Before reviewing the available evidence regarding structural effects of bilingualism on the developing brain, it is useful to first discuss the more general patterns of brain development in typical childhood and adolescence. However, we remind the reader that caution is warranted regarding the inference of developmental trajectories from non-longitudinal data.
Overall, the evidence suggests that grey matter generally but not always decreases reflecting developmental grey matter loss between early childhood and early adulthood, across cortical and subcortical structures. However, the linear or nonlinear trajectories of these decreases seem to vary as a function of different factors, including which measures are used volume, thickness, or surface area and which structures are examined Fjell et al. First of all, cortical thickness tends to decrease continuously throughout childhood and adolescence, though with some regional variability Remer et al. In contrast, both cortical surface area and cortical volume show clear nonlinear trajectories, with early increases often peaking within the first decade or so, followed by sustained decreases into early adulthood, with the exact shape varying according to the region examined e.
The volumes of subcortical structures seem to show a more varied pattern: whereas some structures show a similar trajectory of increases peaking around age 15 followed by decreases e. Overall, the mechanisms underlying these different developmental trajectories remain unclear, though various factors likely contribute to them, including the developmental pruning of dendritic and axonal connections as well as increasing myelination which may be a significant driver of cortical changes in adolescence Chechik et al. However, these trajectories show variability according to which tract is examined, as well as according to factors such as sex, genetics, and environmental variables Lebel and Deoni Evidence points towards increasing myelination during development as an underlying mechanism that may help explain these trajectories, though the exact nature of this process remains unclear e.
Even with the increasing interest in the effects of bilingualism on brain structure in adults, there has been very little work examining such effects in children or adolescents, let alone investigating whether developmental trajectories of grey or white matter might be affected by bilingualism. This, despite the suggestion that bilingual brain effects in adults may be at least partly explained by developmental bilingual effects see above; de Bot, , let alone that the influence of bilingualism on brain development is of interest in its own right.
We are aware of four studies of bilingual effects on grey matter in children or adolescents. The first such evidence was presented by Della Rosa and colleagues , who examined year-old children growing up in a multilingual environment. The children were scanned twice, 12 months apart. The study examined changes specifically in cortical volume, and focused on the left inferior parietal lobule. Della Rosa et al. This is the only longitudinal study on children to date probing aspects of bilingualism or multilingualism on grey matter. However, the study did not include a monolingual control group. Given that year olds typically still learn words even in their native language, which in itself might introduce structural changes Lee et al.
More recently, Archilla-Suerte and colleagues compared two groups of bilingual children mean age across both groups: 9. The effect of age was not examined, and monolinguals were not tested. The study focused on three cortical structures STG, IFG, and MFG , reporting cortical thickness and surface area, and two subcortical structures caudate nucleus and putamen , for which volumes were reported. Compared to the unbalanced group, the balanced bilinguals had significantly thinner cortex in the left IFGop and MFG, regions related to language learning, processing, and control Ullman , ; Olulade et al.
The balanced bilinguals also showed significantly larger volumes of the putamen, a structure related to articulatory control Pliatsikas et al. No significant differences were found between the two groups for cortical surface area. Archilla-Suerte et al. Viewed from an experience-based perspective, such as that provided by the DRM, these effects might signify gradual renormalization of previously expanded cortical structures for balanced and potentially more experienced bilinguals, accompanied by significant expansion of the putamen—similar to patterns observed in experienced bilingual adults see above.
In contrast, the unbalanced and presumably less experienced bilingual children may still be at the stage of initial cortical reorganization that involves increases in cortical thickness. In another study that tested effects of bilingualism on grey matter, Brito and Noble compared cortical thickness and surface area between monolinguals and bilinguals, aged between 3 and 21 years. Several covariates were included in their analyses, including age, sex, socioeconomic status, and genetic ancestry. Cortical volumes, as well as subcortical structures, were not examined. No main effect of bilingualism vs. They additionally examined the effect of bilingualism separately in groups of younger 3—11 years and older 12—21 years individuals.
The potential effect of bilingualism on developmental trajectories of brain structures was not examined e. No effect of bilingualism was found in the younger age group. However, in the older group, bilinguals showed greater surface area in the ACC, a region that is central to language control Abutalebi and Green Brito and Noble interpret their findings as suggesting that there might not be robust structural effects of bilingualism in younger children, though it is important to emphasize that averaging across such a large age range 3—11 may obscure developmental patterns. Finally, Thieba, Long, Dewey and Lebel compared 3-toyear-old children raised in a multilingual environment to children raised in a monolingual environment.
The two groups were matched on age, sex, and both maternal education and household income measures of socioeconomic status. Age effects were not examined. They focused bilaterally on three cortical regions of interest IFGop, IFGtr, IFGor , and moreover performed exploratory analyses on 31 additional cortical sub regions, again bilaterally. In all regions, they examined cortical thickness, surface area, and volume. Subcortical structures were not probed. None of their findings survived statistical correction, though in their uncorrected results they reported thicker cortex in the left IFGop and the right caudal MFG, as well as larger volumes in the left caudal ACC, the left caudal MFG, and the right MTG, in the multilingual group as compared to the monolingual group.
It is worth noting that the increased cortical thickness in the IFGop and MFG matches the finding of increased cortical thickness for unbalanced vs. This overlap seems consistent with the fact that the participants in Thieba et al. Therefore, both groups might have been at an earlier stage of bilingualism-induced neuroplasticity in which increased cortical thickness is observed. The dearth of evidence regarding the effect of bilingualism on brain development is particularly evident in the very limited literature on white matter. We are aware of only two studies on this topic. Mohades and colleagues compared three groups of 8—year-old children: simultaneous bilinguals, sequential bilinguals, and monolinguals.
The groups had similar age and sex distributions. The effect of age was not examined. They reported greater FA values in the left IFOF which plays important roles in language for simultaneous bilinguals compared to both sequential bilinguals and monolinguals, as well as in one of the corpus callosum bundles connecting orbital frontal cortex bilaterally for monolinguals compared to the two bilingual groups.
Interestingly, and despite not emerging as significantly different, the FA values in the left IFOF for sequential bilinguals were intermediate between the values of the two other groups. Additionally, the same participants were scanned again after 2 years Mohades et al. The study reported that while all groups showed a significant increase in their FA values in the left IFOF over the 2 years as expected, given general developmental increases in white matter integrity; see above , the increase was larger for the sequential bilinguals than the other two groups.
This appears to be consistent with experience-based increases in white matter integrity due to the bilingual experience. Note that the finding that a larger increase was observed for sequential than simultaneous bilinguals might be partly due to the latter having undergone earlier increases due to their experience. In sum, there is an emerging literature on the effects of bilingualism on brain structure during development.
The findings reveal intriguing overlap both between different developmental groups e. Bilingualism and brain structure in adults. Overall, the results suggest that similar experience-based effects may be found during development and in adults, and that developmental patterns might in fact help explain adult patterns. Nevertheless, a number of important gaps remain, including the following. Indeed, we are not aware of any studies probing this issue over the course of childhood and adolescence.
Such studies seem critical for understanding how development may lead to bilingual effects in adults, let alone for understanding how bilingualism affects the course of development. Second, not all studies have controlled for certain potentially confounding variables e. Third, most previous developmental studies probing bilingual effects prior to adulthood have focused on specific brain structures: generally particular grey matter cortical regions, leaving subcortical structures and white matter greatly understudied. Fourth, prior studies have also focused on particular measures that moreover often differ between studies e.
Indeed, we are not aware of any research that has widely examined both grey and white matter within subjects, let alone with all major measures cortical thickness and surface area, volumes, FA, and MD. Thus, our understanding of the potential effects of bilingualism on brain development is still quite limited. This gap seems to warrant clarification with a more comprehensive study. The present study was designed to address these gaps. The dataset included both bilinguals and monolinguals, who were reasonably evenly distributed across the age range. We controlled for a number of potentially confounding variables, including sex, genetic ancestry, and socioeconomic factors both parental education and household income Bakken et al.
We examined effects bilaterally in a wide set of both cortical and subcortical grey matter structures and white matter tracts. For grey matter, we probed cortical thickness, surface area, and volume with the latter also examined for subcortical structures , while for white matter we examined both FA and MD. If bilingualism indeed has somewhat analogous effects on the brain in children and adolescents as in adults, then one might expect similar grey and white matter effects of bilingualism during development as in adults, in similar structures, though in some manner overlaid or interacting with more general developmental brain trajectories which are described in Sect.
Brain development in childhood and adolescence. Thus, we might expect the following: a For cortical grey matter, the increases in cortical thickness and volumes observed in adult bilinguals at earlier stages of the bilingual experience in training studies or as compared to monolinguals , followed by gradual decreases in more experienced bilinguals, may be reflected during development as initial increases followed by gradual decreases over the course of childhood and adolescence.
These patterns should overlap with the general developmental trajectories of continuous decreases in cortical thickness, and nonlinear increases followed by decreases in cortical volume. Thus, the expected bilingual vs. The dearth of adult bilingual evidence from cortical surface area precludes clear bilingual vs. Again, this pattern should overlap with overall developmental trajectories for subcortical structures. In sum, it seems reasonable that over the course of development, one might expect the following: Bilinguals should show increasing cortical thickness and volumes as compared to monolinguals less steep decreases, that is, less grey matter loss , with no or few concurrent group differences in either subcortical volumes or white matter.
In contrast, subcortical volumes and white should show bilingual effects larger subcortical volumes and increased white matter integrity as compared to monolinguals mainly at later stages of experience, at about the same time that cortical thickness and volume differences are no longer observed. PING is a multi-site collaborative repository comprising demographic, neuroimaging, medical, and cognitive data from typically developing children, adolescents, and young adults aged between 3 and 21 years.
Neuroimaging data for grey matter metrics were available from participants, and for white matter metrics from participants. Moreover, we restricted our analysis to participants that reported English as their first language see below. Any participants with missing data points for key variables in our models age, sex, parental education, household income, genetic ancestry, scanner site, as well as language background , were excluded. This resulted in final samples of participants with grey matter data and with white matter data. Finally, the participants were split into groups according to whether they spoke language s in addition to English bilinguals , or not monolinguals ; see below. Demographic and other participant-level information for the final sample are provided in Table 1.
PING provides pre-processed measures of brain morphology obtained from a Freesurfer processing pipeline Fischl ; see Jernigan et al. We analyzed data from all grey matter structures and white matter tracts available in the PING database see Table 2. For cortical grey matter, PING provides measures of thickness, volume, and surface area for 33 cortical regions, based on the cortical parcellation described in Desikan and colleagues , Table 1. With respect to white matter, PING provides measures of fractional anisotropy FA and mean diffusivity MD , as well as of longitudinal axial and transversal radial diffusivity, for 20 tracts or tract subdivisions Hagler et al. In this study, we focus on FA and MD, since longitudinal and transversal diffusivity can be difficult to interpret Singh et al.
Nevertheless, for the sake of completeness and transparency, since these measures were available in PING, we performed the same analyses on these as on the other metrics see below , and report significant effects in Supplementary Material; we do not discuss these measures further in the paper. Additionally, GAMs prevent overfitting the data by penalising such wiggliness, which is only included when there is sufficient evidence for a particular shape. For these reasons, GAMs are well suited to model a variety of curved shapes, including the nonlinear patterns observed in brain development as a function of age Chang et al. This approach involves running a number of alternate models in which parameters are slightly changed across them.
Reliability is assessed in terms of consistency across the models; that is, effects that are consistent across alternate models can be considered to be reliable. Thus, in the present study, the comparison reference level for key variables of interest bilingualism, hemisphere was changed to generate a set of similar models. This model also included random effects for participant and scanner site, as well as the covariates parental education, household income, and genetic ancestry as linear terms. Sex was not included as a covariate because it was well matched see Table 1 within each participant group i. If the three-way interaction age x bilingualism x hemisphere was significant in all four models, these were followed up by the second-level model see next paragraph , separately for each hemisphere.
If the three-way interaction was not significant in all four models or if none of the second-level analyses in either hemisphere were significant, following up from a significant three-way interaction , we again ran the second-level model, but analyzing both hemispheres together as two repeated measures for each participant. This allowed us to assess whether the pattern of age-related changes that is, the developmental trajectory differed between bilinguals and monolinguals: either in each hemisphere separately as follow-ups to reliable three-way interactions , or across the two hemispheres if the corresponding three-way interaction was not reliable.
This model was also applied to the corpus callosum, forceps minor, and forceps major, for which the first-level model was not run. In all instances, the second-level model was run twice, once with each level of bilingualism monolingual and bilingual as the reference level. It was considered reliable only if the age by bilingualism interaction was significant for both reference levels. In only two cases did these models yield reliable three-way interactions that is, the model was statistically significant across all four reference levels, as described above : for the volume of the putamen and the surface area SA of the posterior cingulate cortex.
However, the follow-up second-level analyses for these three-way interactions did not yield any significant effects of bilingualism, that is, either main effects of bilingualism or age by bilingualism interactions, for either hemisphere and for either of these structures and metrics; see Table 3. Eighteen of these analyses yielded reliable age by bilingualism interactions that is, the interaction was statistically significant across both reference levels, as described above. This indicates that in these 18 cases, the developmental trajectories of these metrics for these structures or tracts differed significantly between bilinguals and monolinguals.
See Table 4 and Figs. The 18 analyses included 12 cortical regions with cortical thickness as the metric Table 4 , Fig. Journal of Culture and Values in Education, 3 2 , Although much is known about classroom practices in support of emergent bilingual children in Kindergarten and beyond, less is known about those practices in the early years. The authors identify several strategic languaging practices enacted by both teachers and children across different language approaches, and strategies for fostering these practices; as well as ways in which teachers leverage their agency through their languaging practices depending on the language policy of each program.
Implications for future research, practice, professional development, and policy are discussed. Before we turn to a review of bilingualism--and bilingualism in academic contexts--we provide statements regarding our positionality as researchers. The inclusion of these statements is crucial for readers to understand any biases that we may have as well as to make more salient for us any preconceived notions based on specific values Milner, Researcher Positionality Ryan identifies as a bilingual white male.
Although he grew up in a monolingual and monocultural region in the Northeastern United States, he has since resided in multilingual, multicultural areas that have come to feel more like home. A former two-way dual language elementary school teacher introduced to and aligned with policies of strict language separation, he currently researches and advocates for the leveraging and use of flexible bilingualism. Ivian, raised in Brazil in a monolingual middle-class environment, identifies as Latina and bilingual. Later, as a mother, she immigrated to the U. During the course of her Ph.
Lergia identifies as a U. Throughout her childhood and early adulthood, she was immersed in a multilingual community, both at home and in the public school educational environment. Her studies in English B. She is currently a doctoral student pursuing a degree in Teaching and Learning, and is married and raising a bilingual son. Bilingualism as a Construct In this literature review, we situate our conceptual framework within the work of critical scholars. Because bilingualism is a social construct related to assumptions around citizenship, language, and the state Stroud, , it is crucial to recognize how, historically, the phenomenon of bilingualism has been situated within discourses linking languages to political authority and legitimacy Heller, Because this notion of bilingualism is tied to ideas of monolingual nation-states, we aim to understand what it means to be bilingual in a multilingual 1 HeadStart uses dual language learner, and education agencies often use deficit-based terms such as English language learner or limited English proficient.
We specifically direct our efforts to understanding bilingualism as a phenomenon in one educational context: bilingual programs in ECE, with a focus on investigating and discussing the instructional strategies most valued in the focal studies as they relate to the language policies in place. We define bilingual programs as those that intentionally use two or more languages for learning purposes. Bilingualism is a phenomenon currently studied from a multidisciplinary perspective including linguistics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology.
In the following forty years, scholars predominantly used this structural-functional paradigm in which languages were understood as a whole, bounded system, associated with whole and bounded communities. This paradigm of bilingualism research predominantly focused on measuring universal patterns, discovering the links among languages, and discussing their social and psychological conditions. Recently, scholars e. Consequently, the notion of bilingualism as two separate languages each consisting of a bounded structural system has been called into question. Perspectives of Bilingualism Framing our analysis in the idea of bilingualism as a social and historicized construct, we highlight two dominant perspectives of bilingualism in current research: one more traditional, which views languages as discrete systems, and the other more holistic and dynamic.
In the following paragraphs, we situate these perspectives. A traditional perspective of bilingualism views languages as separate entities, sometimes interconnected. As such, the goal is that bilingual students develop balanced bilingualism, wherein each language has the same high level of proficiency. Consequently, each is understood as an independent language system to be mastered. This perspective includes the notion that bilingual learners initially appropriate ideas, concepts, and skills in one named language and then have the potential to transfer them to an additional language, since all learning is understood to be part of an underlying repertoire of knowledge i. Holistic models: Bilingualism as dynamic.
This perspective views language as a verb, thus highlighting the ever-evolving nature of the complex and natural social practices in which bilinguals engage. This is what we understand to be naturalistic languaging practices, or translanguaging, where speakers challenge the monolingual norms that society has imposed on them, showing that bilinguals are not two monolinguals in one Grosjean, These differing perspectives of bilingualism influence the language policies that are created and upheld in different learning environments. Although language policies reflect the perspectives of bilingualism discussed above and outline the expectations for language use in each program, how teachers create and operate within specific language policies vary.
Language policies serve to promote a desired, and often national, language Wiley, In schools, these policies naturally involve teachers, leading to them having a major role in promoting national languages and in implementing language policies Wiley, Below we provide a brief outline of U. We begin with K and then turn to ECE to highlight the influence the former has had on the latter. In a second approach, language policy for developmental and dual language bilingual education articulates purposeful use of English and a partner language e. How much of the partner language is expected to be used is also dictated by the policy e. Moreover, whether official or unofficial, there tends to be a policy of language separation in these contexts.
This is accomplished by allocating instruction in each language to a time of day, a space i. Like transitional bilingual education in K, the focus is on English as a national language. Like the K developmental bilingual education model, in the HLFED model, the home language is used for instruction and communication, and English is gradually introduced. In each case, the expectation is that everyone involved strictly adheres to the stated language policies, which, for DL, means language separation.
However, outside of Head Start, there is very little consensus on--or even talk of--how to characterize ECE programs that use two or more languages. This is reflected in a lack of consistency of terminology i. We now provide a detailed methodological description of our search process. Data and Method The goal of this literature review was to identify work conducted in typical ECE contexts i. We wanted to ensure a trustworthy set of high-quality empirical studies, thus leading us to include only peer-reviewed journal articles. As such, specific inclusion criteria included: a qualitative empirical studies, b articles published between and , c articles published in double-blind peer reviewed journals, and d articles in which child participants were years old.
Exclusion criteria included: a dissertations, b book chapters, c articles not written in English4, d articles focused on monolingual instruction, e articles where child participants were in Kindergarten or higher grade levels, f articles where the research did not take place at a school or school-like setting e. When we applied our exclusion criteria, 11 articles remained. From these 11 articles, we thoroughly read and examined each, beginning to establish recurring themes throughout the literature. After this initial research, we used the reference sections of relevant articles and dissertations of the original sources to find additional articles that met inclusion criteria but had not surfaced at first Wohlin, We reviewed convergences and identified two overarching themes: a the diversity of naturalistic dynamic languaging practices in ECE contexts and b teacher agency within language policies.
We honed in on findings with support across multiple studies, as well as any contradictory evidence, although none was found. This approach is used more commonly in qualitative research, where researchers start with more general questions and use their findings to navigate their conclusions. Studies described a variety of early learning programs, approaches to supporting language development, and language policies. Along with the geographical location of each study and the languaging practices of teachers and children, this information is detailed in Table 1.
Approaches to supporting language development included: a Specifically-structured bilingual programs e. Language policies either supported flexible bilingualism i. Results Below, we outline our findings in terms of two salient themes that emerged from the focal studies. That is, neither teachers nor children were bound by research design e. In the focal studies, teachers and children were observed to overtly enact dynamic languaging practices across a range of learning contexts and highlighted strategies for fostering those practices. Below, we elaborate more pointedly on these distinctions. Moreover, various dynamic languaging practices were documented within multiple learning contexts, including sociodramatic play i.
During sociodramatic play in a dual language program, Bengochea et al. That is, he translanguaged with his peers and performed in monolingual English with his teachers, even engaging in a parallel monolingual English conversation with his Spanish model teacher. In a two- way immersion program where teachers were expected to adhere to a policy of language separation, Schwartz and Deeb also found that during sociodramatic play activities, children-led conversations had richer exchanges as indicated by greater frequency of productive language and fewer formulaic utterances.
She often played with language and would use a lot of idioms in both English and Spanish. Gort et al. Specifically, during Spanish read alouds, although children were asked questions requiring them to draw a conclusion more often than during English read alouds, there were more questions requiring information recall in Spanish read alouds, resulting in less conversation in that context. They suggest that teachers strategically develop and plan to ask a variety of questions in each target language with sufficient support for children to dynamically develop their bilingualism to include monolingual and bilingual performances. Creating and fostering a comfortable languaging environment. Modeling translanguaging practices. Teachers themselves sometimes engaged in strategic translanguaging Kirsch, a, b; Palviainen et al.
This was the case when, for example, teachers negotiated with children in an unspecified bilingual program Palviainen et al. In enacting these practices and making space for them, teachers highlighted the value of dynamic languaging practices. In many instances, teachers made knowing choices to language bilingually, regardless of the existing language policy. A study by psychologists Ellen Bialystok and Michelle Martin-Rhee found that bilingual youth were more successful at dividing objects by shape and color versus their monolingual peers who struggled when the second characteristic sorting by shape was added.
These tasks include switching attention from one thing to another and holding information in mind, like remembering a sequence of directions when getting ready for school in the morning or, for adults, driving a car. While it may be easier for young children to pick up a second language, there are benefits for adults as well. Researchers found that young adults who knew two languages performed better on attention tests and had better concentration compared to those who only spoke one language. They also respond faster or more accurately than their monolingual peers, according to Kapa and Colombo, This is largely because of the workout our brain receives while switching back and forth between one language and another when deciding how to communicate.
It allows us to focus better during a lecture and remember relevant information. On average, the disease is delayed by four years compared to monolinguals. Do not fear that learning two languages will confuse or distract your child. Remember, their brains are flexible, and the skills develop beyond learning a second language is immeasurable. Bilingual children learn that an object stays the same even though the object has a different name in a different language object permanence. For example, a foot remains a foot in English as well as French. Studies have also repeatedly shown that foreign language learning increases critical thinking skills, creativity and flexibility of mind. Michigan State University Extension suggests the following articles for additional information about the advantages to learning a second language as well as helpful tips to support your child:.
For more articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, visit the Michigan State University Extension website.