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An Essay Portraying A Basic Understanding Of Bilingualism In Children, Including Definitions, Adavantages And Disadvantages, And Critical Ages In Which Learning Is Best

615 words - 3 pages

Bilingualism LogSomeone who is bilingual has the ability to use two languages, especially with equal fluency. According to the 1990 United States Census, about 31.8 million people speak a language other than English in their home. Numerous researchers agree that children exposed to a second language at an early age will naturally put both languages to use. Children will often go through periods of blending the two languages. This occurs because children may find it difficult to express an idea with words of one language, and may find it easier to convay their message in the other. Also, one language may be considered for informal use, while another language, spoken outside of the home, will be more formal. A separation of the two languages is a gradual process, and there will often be periods when one language will be put to use more often then ...view middle of the document...

Researchers have documented that children with the ability to speak multiple languages have a number of advantages over children who speak only their native language. Included in these advantages are higher self esteem, higher intelligence test scores, lower school drop out rate, and higher achievement records. Once out of school and looking towards a career, bilingual individuals are more likely to get a job, or a higher paying job, then a person with knowledge of only one language.Although it is shown that bilingual children are not intellectually disadvantaged from those who speak only one language, it is possible for bilingual children to not develop adequately enough either of the two languages they are learning to be able to grasp enough of each language to be proficiant in either of them. This is most likely to happen in an incident where the child doesn't have enough exposure to what would be a dominant, accepted language in the community, since that language is not used at home, and the child resists speaking the language that is spoken at home.It is a common belief that teaching a child a second language would be slowed down in their speech development. In general, speech-language problems are less likely to occur when both languages are introduced before the preschool years. Those who are capable of speaking a second language are often able to easier grasp concepts of his or her native language, for many languages have the same root language. For example, Spanish, French, Italian, and English are all 'Romantic Languages' with roots in Latin. That is a reason that Latin is still taught in highschools and universities across the country: so that we may better understand our own language.

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