Language Processing in Bilingual Children, Book Review Example
Words: 2621Book Review
About the Author
Ellen Bialystok is one among the most known Canadian psychologist currently noted for her researches performed and released in York University. Among the most common targets of her research includes particular concentration on bilingualism and the specific impact it has on the cognitive development of children especially in this age of global camaraderie. Along with such consideration over the learning process of children, Bialystok also tries to convey how the brain development in accordance to the course of language acquisition specifically passes on through the older years of learning. Relatively, this means that her concentration on cognitive development stretches from the young age towards adulthood mainly focused on how language development affects personal and intellectual advancements of particular individuals as a whole.
Lecturing to several universities about her discoveries and findings about the linguistic development of individuals and how the brain relatively responds to it, Bialystok tries to combine the procedures of language acquisition in relevance to the process of cognitive development which is more dependent on the psychological capacities of learners. Through exploring elements of age, culture, racial origin as well as brain response, Bialystok is able to manage how factors of learning are being combined together to develop spatial cognition among modern learners at present.
With her works and her continuous support to the course of developing educational provisions to bilingual individuals that are radically increasing in number nowadays, she was awarded four particular recognitions that marked her contribution to advanced learning and research procedures. The said awards include the KIllam Research Fellowship, the Walter Gordon Research Fellowship, the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research and the Learning Distinguished Scholar in Residence. Gathering from all these awards, it could be noticed how her contributions as an educator and researcher specifically affected the field of modern developments in language learning that has introduced modern educational system to the acceptance of the need to adjust to the need of bilingual students in language acquisition hence helping them cope with the challenges of the new world.
About the Book
As part of her milestones in research, Bialystok gathered and put together ten of the best researches that he has found and have written all in one book. Trying to show her readers and the other stakeholders of the matter a chance to see the relevance of her claims and how other researchers respond to the same issue of establishing the correlation between language acquisition and cognitive development, she collected these researchers hence making a connection between all the findings of the said documentations. With this, she expects to establish a strong foundation that would relatively increase competence on her claim regarding the efficacy of her researches and the reliability of her own findings in parallel with that of the others’.
To note, most of the researches featured by the author in this collective reading material is directed towards refining focus upon the capacity of children to embrace new languages as part of their cognitive capabilities; something that is separately represented when it comes to older people who are trying to acquire new languages. Aiming to prove that embracing a bilingual culture of learning among young students affect the intellectual capacities of the said individuals until they grow older, Bialystok tries to carry a well defined picture that would surely instigate her claims of the process of learning language to be more refined especially in relation to the actual situations that the world is undergoing at present.
Overall Theme of the Book
Referencing from the capacity of the brain to adapt, the book further notes how different researches come into a consistent understanding on how language adaptation does improve memory and the overall intellectual capabilities of a person. Notably, it could be understood that the culture of bilingualism is then represented in this collection of researches as a matter of development that has likely equipped the modern society residents the capacity to make extensive progress on learning. Given the fact that bilingualism is becoming a great culture of development in the modern world, this book is expected to provide a great source of help for educators who are aiming to create a new sense of presentation that would make their curriculum more effective and efficient in responding to the needs of their primary students. This way, not only does the book try to explain the relative connection of language acquisition development and that of the process by which cognitive development occurs in learners, it also provides a clear vision as to how educators are supposed to adjust their systems so as to cater to the modern needs of the modern society that they are trying to serve at present.
Chapter Summary Presentation
The book comprises of ten major chapters comprising of one research material presentation per chapter. This makes the book more focused and well arranged to feature one research result at a time hence placing a great impact on what the findings specifically show regarding the connection of cognition and language learning. Presented in this section is a part-by-part summary that showcases the highlights of each chapter depending on the problems tackled and the findings discovered in each researched document. The first part of the book is the introductory presentation of the overall context of the documentations that are utilized for the overall creation of the written work. Notably, in this section, it could be observed that Bialystok tried to create a specific definition on what bilingualism is and what cognitive development is all about relatively so as to provide the readers an overview of what they need to know before actually going into the details of the issues that are inculcated within the matter of developing cognitive advancements among those who are aspiring to learning in a bilingual community. This introductory section serves as an eye-opener to the readers as they tend to manage through the documentations presented in each chapter of this reading material. Explaining terms and philosophies behind the course of development that the book is about, this introductory section is rather effective in making it easier for both non-educators and educators to develop a sense of making a great impact on how learning the principles of bilingualism develop the cognitive capacity of each learner while also developing their personal being as a learner and as a developing individual.
Chapter 1: Language Modules and Bilingual Processing by Michael Sharwood Smith
In this chapter, the study of Michael Sharwood Smith is presented in line with the effective definition of Language modules that are utilized in learning institutions. Herein, the researcher featured in the chapter specifically tries to examine how the different modules of language learning actually affect the students’ capacity to get the gist of the lessons presented to them in class and later on apply the said points of learning in actual conversations that engage with outside the classrooms. Through this particular process, Smith tries to create a correlating bridge that makes it easier for readers to see how effectively expansive it is for learners to become strongly dependent and absorbed in their learning that it becomes a part of their daily lives.
Extensively, Smith describes in his research how cognitive development is reflected through the process of language acquisition. Understandably, he notes that the capacity of students to make use of what they learn from class immediately outside of its premises proves that the lessons have been specifically embedded within their minds and have successfully created an impact on how their brain functions hence imposing developments on the way they think. Relatively though, Smith relates this particular matter into the effectiveness of the modules created to cater to the specific needs of the students. He admits through this research that affecting the capacity of the students to learn depends so much on the capacity of educators to create a module that would respond to the cognitive developmental process that each learner responds to.
Chapter 2: Phonological Processing in Two Languages by Ian Watson
It is deemed in this chapter that phonological learning creates a pattern of recognition into the minds of children who are trying to learn first and secondary languages accordingly. Notably, it is observed by Watson herein that such a conditional way of learning specifically creates a defensive dictation on how the brain functions to recognize phonological makeup of words. The brain is practically exercised to remember the structure of sounds that each word makes and correlate it with a completely different form of phoneme from another set of language. The capacity of the brain to balance its focus on both sets of language acquisitions is imposed in this research as a course of condition that makes a definitive indication of what phonemic excellence is about and how it affects the cognitive learning of the students involved in the course.
Chapter 3: Second Language in Learning in children: A Model of Language Learning in Social Context by Lily Wong Fillmore
The society is one of the most important elements that contribute to the pressure by which young learners are faced with the challenge to learn two or even more languages at a time. The developmental implications of globalization specifically require modern learners to adapt to a new sense of living in the new communities they belong to through the utilization of developing familiarity over a new language. In this case, Fillmore indicates in this research that such pressure basically increases the demand hence pushes the learners to make a definite turn on how they are to contend with the changes in relation to their personal preferences to be able to intermingle with the new society that they are engaged with. Language, being the basic requirement for such matter becomes a great challenge on their part which makes them realize the need of adjusting properly to the matter without too much conscious consideration over the matter. The immediate adjustment to the issue is a course that learners immediately get accustomed to hence affecting their personality and the way that they handle the new challenges of their new lives.
Chapter 4: Interdependence of First and Second Language Proficiency in Bilingual Children by Jim Cummins
Home language or the type of language one learns from home is considered to be his first language. However, it is pointed out by Cummin in this research that learnig a second language has become a common matter among school curriculums for children at present especially in relation to the pressing indicators of global development. Hence, second language acquisition does happen and is considered as a normal matter among learners of the modern society. Question is, would the students become equally proficient in both languages? In an investigative research, Cummins found out that the level of proficiency between two languages often occur in a balanced manner since the relative understanding of one towards one particular language is highly dependent on how he understands the other.
Chapter 5: Giving Formal Definitions: A Linguistic or Metalingusitic Skill? By Catherine Snow, Herlinda Cancino, Jeanne De Temple and Sara Schley
Word understanding through context utilization in a particular language is seen by the authors of the research featured in this chapter to be a definition of how cognitive learning develops in children with bilingual capabilities. Understandably, it could be observed that metalinguistic skills have been refined by the authors to be reflected on the capability of a learner to conceive meaning of a particular work according to concept realization. Through this, the authors impose that learning a new language does improve the rational thinking of a student in relation to how he makes a connective indication on his personal experiences, indicative forces of development in the society and that of his personal capacity to see how one word of another language actually conceives a connection on a parallel meaning of another word he knows of from a different language.
Chapter 6: Metalinguistic Dimensions of Bilingual Language Proficiency by Ellen Bialystok
Coming from the author of the book herself, Bialystok features how culture and language are interrelated between each other which specifically affect the proficiency of the learners in speaking in a particular tongue. Notably, here, she makes a distinctive consideration on how the different elements of bilingual acquisition improve the thinking of the learners as each student relate each language on the culture that they belong to.
Chapter 7: Translation Skill and Metalinguistic awareness in Bilinguals by Marguerite Malakoff and Kenji Hakuta
Exploring the capacity of the students to translate immediately from one word to another in two different languages, Malakoff and Hakuta tries to draw a visial presentation on how cultural definitions of language does affect the impact of particular learning-lessons on the indicative thinking of the students. Notably, making a specific definition on how translation is a definite course of language development, the authors of this research makes a connective distinction on how humans think relatively with the language relation and how it is in parallel with the culture that they have been accustomed to adapt to.
Chapter 8: Towards an explanatory model of the interaction between bilingualism and cognitive development by Rafael Diaz and Cynthia Klingler
In this chapter, Diaz and Klingler make it definite that cognitive development is impacted strongly by bilingual learning. The distinctive indication of interaction between the brain’s capacity to record language and to manage a connection between the use of the words and their cultural background creates a massive course of development that makes it easier for learners to embrace a new language based on what they have already known and used originally.
Chapter 9: Constructive Processes in Bilingualism and their cognitive growth effects by Janice Johnson
The left frontal context of the brain helps in the acquisition of language and the process by which words are formed into meaningful creations that are used in conversations. The exercise that the brain receives in this part of its development also helps improve the cognitive growth of an individual hence making it easier for the learners to acquire both competence and proficiency in learning the language and be able to give comprehensive meanings to the words that they use.
Chapter 10: Language, Cognition and Education of Bilingual Children by Ellen Bialystok and Jim Cummins
While language is one of the most common foundations of an individual’s primary development, it is considered to be a continuous factor of growth. Relatively, as an individual grows into maturity acquisition of more complicated language occurs especially in relation to how he begins to understand words and relate them to how they affect him personally. In this chapter, this truth is further elaborated hence pointing out how bilingual children develop better condition than those who are able to acquire one-language-learning throughout their lives.
Critique of Overall Presentation
Presenting all the values of the researches gathered in a balanced approach makes this reading material an effective source of learning that specifically creates a sense of provisionary understanding for both learners and educators as to how bilingualism does affect the overall learning development of an individual. It could be analyzed that with the presentation of Bialystok in connection with these research materials, this documentation presents an unbiased indication of the proofs that specifically define the connection of bilingualism, language acquisition and cognitive development among young learners and even towards their growth into more mature levels of understanding as they grow into adulthood.
Personal Reflection and Reaction
This book is indeed a good read for those aiming to see how effective bilingual education could impact not only the learning process of a student but also their personal growth that affects their personal being. Understandably, the presentation made by Bialystok is an evidence-based distinction that makes it easier for educators to see the indicative correlation that language learning has over the cognitive capacities of the students which they are able to use later on in the process of gaining more control on how they rationalize matters surrounding them.
Time is precious
don’t waste it!