Bilingual children: Language, culture and identity clashes. Language choice for individuals who are bilingual is vital to the creation of a personal identity and it is a powerful social tool for cultural transformation. This essay explores the key issues that bilingual children may encounter in prior to school and school settings which includes linguistic and cultural clashes such as how they negotiate between their ethnic and “mainstream” cultures, how these clashes and problems influence their relationship with their families and their identities as a whole and how losing their primary language or learning a second language can affect their educational development. The work of Lily Wong Fillmore (1991), Sapna Vyas (2004) and Roger Barnard (2003) will be explored in this paper to develop an understanding of these 3 key issues and their importance in bilingual education as future educators of children. The first key issue to be examined is how bilingual children are forced to negotiate between their ethnic and “mainstream” cultures by making linguistic adjustments in order to participate in today’s society.
Appropriate timing is also a factor for when bilinguals use a language. A bilingual could use one language when at home to speak with family, but use the other language when he/she goes to school and speaks with friends. Psychologists have always tried to solve the question on whether bilinguals have cognitive development benefits that advance from childhood to adulthood more than monolinguals. In fact, being bilingual may give children an advantage at school. Bilingual preschoolers have been found to be better able than their monolingual peers at focusing on a task while tuning out distractions.
Topic:Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign Language at primary school rather than secondary school. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages Presently, young children learn foreign languages at school from early years. It is certainly true, that foreign languages are important and surely useful, mainly to communicate with people from all over the world. Some experts believe that young students should learn foreign languages from their earliest years, starting as early as primary school, rather then beginning in secondary school. The aim of this essay is to consider both, benefits and drawbacks of this issue.
Studies have shown that beginning a well-planned bilingual education program before a child is five can have multiple benefits including delaying the possible onset of Alzheimer’s and enhanced awareness of and ability to manipulate sounds. A well-planned program for bilingual education can make it easier for these children to function with others outside of those that speak their native language, and also lead to more children of minority ethnic groups in the US enrolling in college. This could further translate to a larger pool of skilled workers in the workforce. And since the minority population of the US is now more than one-third of the total population, with more than 20% speaking a language other than English at home (“State & County QuickFacts”), how we choose to integrate children that speak a language other than English has potentially far-reaching consequences for our society as a whole. There are several types of bilingual education programs.
Let’s try to find out if there a best method to teach a target language to children. Teaching young learners is unique and challenging experience. But it also fun and interesting. And of course the thing that must be considered is that children are different from adults. “Compared to adults, children are more energetic, have shorter attention spans, and learn language according to specific stages of development.
It takes them longer time then the children to analyse a complex sentence. In some cultures, Child Directed Language is used in speech to young children, and there is a similarity between Child Directed Language and the way or the speech style which is often used with the elderly. Parents use Child Directed Language as a language-teaching tool. The reason for using it is to ensure understanding in someone who they think are not fully capable of using the language. Another reason for using of this language-teaching toll is that it maintains the power of the caregiver in relation to the child.
What is more, when practicing language skills, children would never shame for making mistakes or be shy to speak out aloud. Because of their outgoing characteristics, children tend to have more opportunities to be instructed. In this way, children improve faster than adults. So it is better for people to learn a new language as soon as they start school than to learn after growing up. Apart from having advantages in linguistic ability, most children who study second language get a head start over other children in the latter schooling and future career.
How Young Learners Learn and Acquire their First and Second Language The understanding of how young learners learn and acquire their first and second language is interesting to examine to shed light on how language research can contribute to furthering and enhancing the education of these students, particularly with regard to acquiring a new language Research indicates that younger students do not only acquire a second language at a faster rate but also score higher on standardized tests and surpass their peers in terms of achievement in English vocabulary. Young learners who acquire a second language at an early age are also better problem solvers and more open to diversity). These conclusions regarding the benefits of language learning underscore the need to comprehend the process through which these young learners, specifically those between the ages of 11 and 16, facilitate their acquisition of the new foreign material. This age group has been selected given have focused on younger students as it is believed to be even easier for elementary school children to acquire a second language than it is for middle school or high school students. Since have established a positive link between learning a second language and one's first, the processes of learning as well as acquiring the mother tongue will need to be also examined.
In contrast, providing children with an opportunity to learn in a language they understand i.e. their mother tongue—starting on the first day of school—confers significant advantages for the education system, teachers, parents, and students. A recent review of research reports on language and literacy concludes that becoming literate and fluent in one‘s first language is important for overall language and cognitive development, as well as academic achievement. Evidence from Cameroon, India, Mali, the Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam, and elsewhere attests to the benefits of learning in a familiar language. First, children learn to read faster if they speak the language of instruction, because they already have a repository of vocabulary, knowledge of the linguistic construction of the language, and the ability to pronounce the sounds of the language.
That is, if a child can be fluent in his/her language, he/she can also be fluent in any other languages. Perhaps talent is required of those wishing to become lawyers or orators only. Another reason is the long-term benefits that foreign language learning brings. Learning a foreign language exposes children to another culture, raising their awareness of cultural diversity of the world. This would develop their tolerance to cultural differences, preparing them for multicultural work environment in the future.