Grammatical Development of Bilingual Children, Term Paper Example

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Term Paper

Overview

Since the concept of bilingualism is major to the research, a concise details of language learning will lead an introduction to bilingualism, its role in linguistics, its relationship to biculturalism, and present developments in general bilingual education. Differences between monolinguals and bilingualism, and the special features of Spanish/English bilingualism will be described. This will be accompanied by a description of research on bilingualism. The concept designs of academic achievement and learning disabilities and difficulties will be described.

Language Learning

In the first half of the 20th century, it was concluded that the important aspect in language learning was the steps of imitation. Language was viewed as progressing incrementally with the parents playing the main role by suggesting models, and by framing grammatical utterances through particular reinforcement. The operant conditioning model was observed upon to illustrate all verbal behavior, and the Stimulus-Response (S-R) position was of main significance (McLaughlin, 2010). The change in focus in the study of child language was due in large part of analysis on the child’s understanding of English morphology, concentrating on the ability of children to apply simple rules to words never earlier experienced (Köppe, 1996). The most considerable finding of psycholinguistics has been the proof that language does not progress in a child entirely by means of selective reinforcement by parents. The child makes great inductive steps to receive ability in grammar within exceptionally short period of time. Language is not a passive technique, as had been assumed previously. A child learns language by communicating with it; actively dealing with and influencing the environment. The structures of language at the earliest and most simple levels are equivalent for all children no matter the language of their parents (Salameh,et. al, 2004).

Conboy, et. al, (2004) stressed the significance of grammar and syntax in language, which he believed was based on a system of regulations. He recommended that linguistics and syntax were independent of each other and displayed two levels of language: a detailed structure that displays meaning, and a surface structure that supplies the phonetic description. According to Chomsky, every human has an unconditioned ability to get language and this capability is initialized when hearing language for the first time. His hypothesis of transformational-generative grammar made it possible to anticipate sentence combinations and their structure in any language. In this view, accurate language development takes the mother to offer clear, persistent grammatical forms for the child to imitate.

This encourages a child to express himself/herself in a way acceptable to the mother, allowing the mother to offer expansions. Thus, language experience lay in the detailed structure; it lived in the ability to generate novel yet recommended utterances utilizing a limited vocabulary, and knowledge of the rules to the language. Here, it is adequate to declare that the student researcher is interested in bilingualism as a subtopic of language acquisition because of the significant effects that language acquisition and bilingualism have on classroom achievement (Mahmood, et. al, 2010).

The conclusion that bilingual children know, in some sense that they are accepting two different languages does not definitely mean that the development of each language continues autonomously. It is still possible that the simultaneous acquisition of two systems affects the development of each of those systems. Two sorts of possible impacts can be distinguished: impacts on the path of development and effects on the rate of development.

Bilingualism

Bilingualism is assumed to be having the capability to communicate clearly in more than one language (so strictly speaking, this would include trilingual, etc., even though third and appropriate languages were forgotten for this study). In this study, this was operationally defined as students’ being categorized as bilingual in Spanish and English. Monolinguals are those who are classified as English only. Altogether, the design of bilingualism was the principal independent variable (IV) in the study.

A search of the literature indicates that many thousands of articles have been written analyzing bilingual and monolingual persons. Most appear not to consider ro measure bilingualism exactly. It is assumed that a person who commonly uses more than one language is bilingual. For the reasons of this study, it was taken for granted that many students considered bilingual were proficient in the language spoken at home, but much less fluent in English. Bilingualism pretty much always implies biculturalism (Peçenek, 2011), and this can have strong influence on the child’s acquisition of a second language (Motsch, et. al, 2008). One question mentioned by the Chomsky model of language development is, how do cultural distinctions affect bilingual language processing? In the U.S., the great majority of bilingual education is managed, either formally or informally, in English and the other normally first language in parallel. A child of Spanish-speaking parents in Arizona, for example, will most likely switch back and forth between Spanish and English many times a day. He or she will possibly be integrated in a culture which is a mix of mainstream American and local Hispanic cultures.

For most bilingual children in the U.K or the U.S. , English is the “language of aspiration”. It is the language they expect to use in middle class jobs and in college. It is connected with a culture that is more or less attractive to them. This is generally true of Spanish/English students. It has been demonstrated that various languages produce various world views in the speaker. Speakers experience their world diversely due to the fact the languages they speak differ structurally. Kroll, et. al, (2012) also recommended that culture, in turn, puts its identification on the conversational and narrative style of the speakers. Collins, et. al, (2011) added that the relationship between language, its speakers, and their thought and culture affects the ways in which they observe their world and how they comprehend their possibilities for the future. However, there appears to be little or no scientific research on how Spanish may affect the speaker differently from speakers of other languages.

Bilingualism is at the heart of great research in linguistic. Language development is essential to all fundamentals of communication, learning and socializing with others. Bilingual children have been categorized as learning disabled and wrongly diagnosed as “mentally retarded” as a outcome of ignorance about the mental procedures of language development. Parents and teachers as well as pediatricians and therapists should become better educated about language differences when dealing with bilingual children (del Pilar García Mayo, M., & Olaizola, I. (2011). Horst (2010) has declared that this will contribute to fewer children being wrongly classified as having speech and language disorders. Although there are many possible approaches to studying the mental processes involved in bilingualism, one interesting approach concentrates on brain functions, and in certain, brain physiology.

Reviews of the literature by White,et. al, (2012)determined that in both the course and the rate of development, “bilingual and monolingual developments are definitely the same” (Meisel, et. al, 2011). Paradis, (2010) drew the same conclusion from their study of babies accumulating either French and English or French and LSQ. This conclusion is difficult for two reasons; however, first, the data come from case studies and small samples of children appropriate to the researchers, whose development was compared with explanations of monological development taken from other studies.

Bilingualism Education

Existing interest in bilingual education stems from the considerable influx of immigration populations in the U.S. in the last several decades. Bilingual children are projected to adjust to English instruction with English as a second language (ESL) support services without much interest to their differences in learning. Children’s bilingual and bicultural background is not taken into consideration when they are struggling to learn. Although many programs cater to the bilingual student with the support of a bilingual teacher, this does not address the student’s poorly developed dominant language vocabulary collection. As a result, bilingual students exhibit significant delays in their reading and comprehension abilities directly related to their bilingualism. Bilingualism has many implications for education.

Bilingualism and Linguistics

A significant difference between Spanish and many other languages depends in the fact that it is written and read right to left. Even though there do not occur to be any studies performed on Spanish/English bilinguals, there is proof of brain differences in language processing in Chinese, Japanese, and Hebrew. Chen, Fu, Iverson, Smith and Matthews (2002) took advantage of the reality that Chinese can be displayed in two quite different ways: the familiar Chinese characters (ideograms) and Pinyin, which is basically an alphabet like sequence of characters representing spoken sounds (phonograms). They determined that “both alphabetic and non alphabetic texts initialize a common brain network for reading. However, distinctions in language surface form appear to confirm relative activation in other regions.

Previous work planning that persons who are bilingual in languages that use word construction, such as Spanish and English, store a single incorporated representation of these constructions. For example, if subjects are given examples of inactive voice in one language, they are more likely to spontaneously generate sentences in passive voice in the other language. However, when languages differ in construction German and Dutch the verb typically comes at the end of the sentence, this is not always true. The authors established that such a word order repetition is needed for the construction of incorporated syntactic representations.

Experiments and examples

In this section, we generate the point, based on results from some of the same studies that we have discussed, that there are distinctions among bilingual children in their rates of development in both languages and, maybe, in the developing paths they follow. Further, not all children revealed to two languages become bilingual. The “achievements” rate for bilingual development among children in bilingual household has been forecasted at 75 percent. One clear resource of variableness in bilingual development is the amount of visibility to each language the child acquires. This, in turn, is likely to be associated to her features of the home environment, such as who does the basic care-giving for the child and the degree to which the child is revealed to language through siblings, peers, and no parental caregivers.

For example, Chan and McBride-Chang (2005) found that among kindergarten children in Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong, those who were desired for by Filipina foreign domestic helpers presented better vocabulary knowledge in English and poorer vocabulary knowledge in Cantonese than did the children who were cared for by their Cantonese-speaking relatives. Preschool experience, book reading at home, and television watching are additional potential sources of language content that affect bilingual development. It also seems to be the case that amount of visibility within the home is not the only factor. “Studies of bilingual households in both the United States and Belgium have found that children dependably acquire the majority language (English in the United States and Dutch in the Flemish region of Belgium)” (Tripp, n.d.).

Second language acquisition in childhood might possibly continue differently and have more varied results than first language acquisition because the input conditions are different and highly diverse. Children usually do not have the one on one dyadic connection with a speaker of the target language that characterizes the environments of first language acquisition, at least in Western middle class homes. Particularly, children often tend to be thrown into circumstances in which they must sink or swim and in which numerous of their language designs are peers. It is interesting, in this regard, to note the techniques of second language acquisition by children as containing of their memorizing large chunks of speech to use for communicative reasons and then only steadily examining these chunks into their component parts.

That classification is similar to the way that has been explained first language acquisition by children who also experienced little dyadic interaction but were encompassed by a great deal of speck. Similarly, Bates outlined her daughter who learned English as her first language, as having highly denotative style. A few years later when the same child was exposed to Italian, in part by participating in the techniques of a large Italian family, she learned socially useful expressions in big, unanalyzed chunks.

One way to discuss the achievements of language acquisition is to detect that adult language use is largely independent of the context of communication, where as the child in initially unable of explaining needs which go beyond what comes forth from the immediate context of connection. And the child’s communicative means, too, are originally connected to the ego hic- nunc ‘me- here- now’ of the situation. This corresponds to what Tripp, (n.d. ) Called the ich-Origo of discourse. One requirement which must be met for the techniques of gradual separation from the constraints of the immediate context to be possible is definitely cognitive maturation. But it is equally plausible to assume that becoming independent of the bonds of the condition needs the development of a grammatical competence; see for example, Tripp, (n.d.) who explains very clearly the role of grammar in language ontogenesis as well as in phylogenies.

Note that certain models of a functionalist model have refused the potential of abstract linguistic categories as mental representations. But these technical sketches were of a rather programmatic kind and have evidently not been pursued much further in their radical versions. Similar hypotheses, however, are mentioned in the more recent circumstance of connectionist approaches to language. Yet there remain serious doubts whether this model can properly capture language behavior, especially as confirmed by children.

For the time being, I will therefore presume without further discussion that adults have a way in to a system of implied knowledge about language which one may call their grammatical proficiency. This grammar, together with a number of other mental representations of knowledge, and reinforced by language processing mechanisms, makes up the main part of a person’s capability to use language. If this is basically correct, the question specifically arises whether this grammar, or a customized and possibility simplified version of it, is already available in early childhood. However, one might speculate that children must initially do without it until they develop a grammatical competency. In the latter case, the question is what kind of knowledge and which systems shape the children’s early language and, rather critically, how one can account for the adaptation from one kind of competence to the other.

A number of encouraging suggestions with regards to these problems have been put forth by Leonard, et. a( 2011). He claims that humans are able to see language structure independently of its function. Further, he differentiates between two extreme poles on a procession of communicative techniques, i.e., the pragmatically mode and the syntactical mode. The important hypothesis concerning language development is that the realistic mode introduces ontogenetically and potentially also phylogenetically the syntactic mode. This amounts to saying that the organizing concepts underlying early language use are practical – semantic in nature. There must thus be a process of syntacticization by which grammatical encodings replace earlier semantic pragmatic encodings. These hypotheses allow the method of an interesting research program, relating questions like the following: is there explanation for steps of grammaticization? Is the emergence of grammatical methods functionally driven, or is there explanation for an independent development of grammatical techniques of expressions? In other words, are grammatical encodings really lead by semantic-pragmatic ones?

It occurs that the problems of concern here – i.e. the “origin of grammatical encodings” (Leonard, et. al, 2011) – can be attacked from different sides. Either one attempts to describe more properly the early semantic – pragmatic places and searches to find scientific verification for grammaticization, or one starts from the assumption that the development of the grammatical competency is an independent area of cognitive development. In the latter case, one will have to give scientific support for the claim that grammatical concepts conclude the form of child utterances from early on and that they develop by themselves of the semantic or pragmatic functions which they express.

I believe that there are scientific as well as high-principled factors for choosing the second alternate. As for the empirical reasons, I will, at this point, simply refer to an earlier analysis of case making and work order phenomena by Meisel (1986) where the functional approach confirmed to be incapable of explaining the facts. Instead, this study yielded strong evidence for very early syntactic encodings.

References

McLaughlin, S. F. (2010). Verbal Behavior by B.F. Skinner: Contributions to Analyzing Early

Language Learning. Journal Of Speech-Language Pathology & Applied Behavior Analysis, 5(2), 114-131.

Köppe, R. (1996). Language differentiation in bilingual children: the development of grammatical and pragmatic competence.Linguistics34(5), 927-954.

Salameh, E., Håkansson, G., & Nettelbladt, U. (2004). Developmental perspectives on bilingual Swedish-Arabic children with and without language impairment: a longitudinal study. International Journal Of Language & Communication Disorders39(1), 65-91.

Conboy, B. T., & Thal, D. J. (2006). Ties Between the Lexicon and Grammar: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Studies of Bilingual Toddlers. Child Development77(3), 712-735. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00899.x

Mahmood, A., & Iqbal, S. (2010). DIFFERENCE OF STUDENT ANXIETY LEVEL TOWARDS ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE SUBJECT AND THEIR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT. International Journal Of Academic Research, 2(6), 199-203.

Peçenek, D. (2011). A longitudinal study of two boys’ experiences of acquiring Italian as a second language: the influence of age. International Journal Of Bilingualism, 15(3), 268-290. doi:10.1177/1367006910379294

Motsch, H., & Riehemann, S. (2008). Effects of ‘Context-Optimization’ on the acquisition of grammatical case in children with specific language impairment: an experimental evaluation in the classroom. International Journal Of Language & Communication Disorders, 43(6), 683-698. doi:10.1080/13682820701794728

Kroll, J. F., Bogulski, C. A., & McClain, R. (2012). Psycholinguistic perspectives on second language learning and bilingualism: The course and consequence of cross-language competition. Linguistic Approaches To Bilingualism, 2(1), 1-24.

Collins, B. A., Toppelberg, C. O., Suáárez-Orozco, C., O’Connor, E., & Nieto-Castaññon, A. (2011). Cross-sectional associations of Spanish and English competence and well-being in Latino children of immigrants in kindergarten. International Journal Of The Sociology Of Language, 2011(208), 5-23. doi:10.1515/IJSL.2011.010

del Pilar García Mayo, M., & Olaizola, I. (2011). The development of suppletive and affixal tense and agreement morphemes in the L3 English of Basque-Spanish bilinguals. Second Language Research, 27(1), 129-149. doi:10.1177/0267658310386523

Horst, M., White, J., & Bell, P. (2010). First and second language knowledge in the language classroom. International Journal Of Bilingualism, 14(3), 331-349. doi:10.1177/1367006910367848

White, L., Belikova, A., Hagstrom, P., Kupisch, T., & Özçelik, Ö. (2012). Restrictions on definiteness in second language acquisition: Affirmative and negative existentials in the L2 English of Turkish and Russian speakers. Linguistic Approaches To Bilingualism, 2(1), 54-89.

Meisel, J. M., Elsig, M., & Bonnesen, M. (2011). Delayed grammatical acquisition in first language development: Subject-verb inversion and subject clitics in French interrogatives. Linguistic Approaches To Bilingualism, 1(4), 347-390.

Paradis, J. (2010). Bilingual Children’s Acquisition of English Verb Morphology: Effects of Language Exposure, Structure Complexity, and Task Type. Language Learning, 60(3), 651-680. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2010.00567.x

Leonard, M. K., Torres, C., Travis, K. E., Brown, T. T., Hagler, J. J., Dale, A. M., & … Halgren, 10 (2011). Language Proficiency Modulates the Recruitment of Non-Classical Language Areas in Bilinguals. Plos ONE, 6(3), 1-10. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018240

Tripp, S. E., (n.d.), Emotion in bilingualism. Retrieved from university of califorinia , Berkeley from http://ihd.berkeley.edu/Erv-Tripp%20Bilingualism/Emotion%20in%20Bilingualism.pdf

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