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Ling 599


Melchor A. Tatlonghari, Ph.D
Philippine Normal University
• Workshop
Expectations Setting
• Course Outline
• Rationale
The course is designed to give key insights into the area of
Bilingualism and Bilingual Education. Through key
readings, discussions and reflective tasks in workshops, the
course will explore the term and key concept which map
the field of bilingualism and bilingual education. It is
expected that the course will establish key understandings,
terminology, techniques of analysis and the key skills
appropriate to bilingualism and bilingual education.

• Objectives
a. Introduce graduate students to key issues and themes
that include bilingual development and education, and the
integration of social and cognitive perspectives;
` b. Use tasks and examples to equip graduate students
with the necessary skills and insights to assess and
interpret research drawn from bilingual populations;

• C. Gather together influential readings from key names in

the discipline;
• D. Enable graduate students to assess, evaluate existing
bilingual education programs both locally and elsewhere;
• Enable graduate students to propose alternative bilingual
education programs in the context they are in using the
insights and understandings gained from the course.

• Introduction
• Describing bilingualism
• Bilingual acquisition
• Bilingualism and cognitive ability
• Language attrition in bilinguals
• Attitudes and bilingualism
• Measuring bilingualism
8. Education and literacy in bilingual settings
9. Multilingual education and multiculturalism
10. Pedagogical implications
11. Concluding remarks
Baker,C. (2006) Foundations Of Bilingual Education And Bilingualism. 4th edition, Clevedon:
Multilingual Matters.

Baker, C. (2000) A Parent’s And Teacher’s Guide To Bilingualism. 2nd edition, Clevedon:
Multilingual Matters.

Baker, C. and Prys Jones, S. (1998) The Encyclopaedia of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education,
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Baker, P. and Eversley, J. (Eds) (2000) Multilingual Capital: The Languages of London’s School
Children and their Relevance to Economic, Social and Educational Policies, London:
Battlebridge Publications.

Cummins, J. (2000) Language, Power and Pedogogy; Bilingual Children in the Crossfire,
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Datta,M. (Ed.). (2007) Bilinguality and Literacy: Principles and Practice. 2nd Edition. London,

Dosanji, J. S. and Ghuman, P. A. S. (1996) Child-Rearing in Ethnic Minorities, Clevedon:

Multilingual Matters.

Drury, R. (2007). Young Bilingual Learners at Home and School. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham

Fennes, H. and Hapgood, K. (1997) Intercultural Learning in the Classroom, London: Cassell.

Fishman, J. A. (1965, 2000) Who Speaks What Language to Whom and When? In Li Wei (Ed)
(2000) The Bilingualism Reader, London: Routeledge.

Hall, D. (2001) Assessing the needs of bilingual pupils. (2nd edition) London: David Fulton.
Husain, F (2005) Cultural Competence in Family Support. National family and parenting

Martin, D., Colesby, C. and Jhamat, K. (1997) Phonological awareness in Panjabi/English

children with phonological difficulties, Child Language Teaching and Therapy 13,1, 59-72

Martin, D. (2009) Language Disabilities in Cultural and Linguistic Diversity. Clevedon:

Multilingual Matters.

McWilliam, N. (1998) What’s in a Word? Stoke-on-Trent : Trentham Books

A practical guide to developing children’s vocabulary in the multilingual classroom in the
context of their cultural identity and home language.

Parke,T., Drury, R., Kenner,C., Helavaara Robertson, L. (2002) 'Revealing Invisible Worlds:
Connecting the Mainstream with Bilingual Children’s Home and Community Learning' in
Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. Vol 2 (2) pp. 195-220

RCSLT (2006) Communicating Quality 3.

Smidt, S. (2008) Supporting Multilingual Learners in the Early Years: Many Languages - Many
Children. London: Nursery World / Routledge.

Thompson, L. (1999) Young Bilingual Learners in Nursery School, Clevedon: Multilingual

Matters Ltd.

Winter, K. (2001) Speech and language therapy provision for bilingual children, International
Journal of Language and Communication Disorders.

*Note: Including those in-cited references.

• Requirements
A. Written final examination
B. Oral presentation of an assigned topic
C. End-of-the-course papers (For all)
1. A critique of an article about
bilingualism or bilingual education
2. A critique of a research study on
bilingualism and bilingual education
D. For Ph.D students only
– An evaluation of an existing Bilingual Education
Program in your own context or a proposed Bilingual
Education Program for your own specific context.

Topic I

Describing Bilingualism
• Discussion
– What is bilingualism?
– What level of competence must you achieve in both
languages to qualify as a bilingual?
– How do different experiences in acquiring bilingualism
affect the degree of bilingualism?
– Can there be a single definition of bilingualism?
• An often-quoted answer to the question “What is
bilingualism?” is Baetens Beardsmore’s (1982) comment
that “bilingualism as a term has an open-ended

• The term “bilingualism” may mean different things to

different people as there is no one definition of
• For the average speaker , bilingualism can be loosely
defined as the use of two languages.
– Criterion: the use of two languages including speakers
who only have rudimentary formulaic expressions ,
e.g. greetings, in the second language
• Or the native-like control of two languages.
– Criterion: Imposes stringent requirement in terms of
language proficiency.
• How bilingualism should be defined has often centered on
the issue of language competence.
• This focus overlooks other socio-cultural and cognitive
factors which are just as relevant when discussing the
performance of bilinguals.

• Bilinguals are part of a wider socio-cultural milieu, and any

discussion of bilingualism needs to account for how
bilinguals utilize and interact with the resources in the
• Discussion
• Think about yourself or someone you know who is
– How did this person become bilingual?
– What is this person’s proficiency in both languages?
– When and where does this person use both
Compare your answer with those of the others in your
• Can you draw any conclusions about the difficulties which
you might encounter if you were asked to provide a single
definition of bilingualism?
• Consider whether you think someone is bilingual if:
– They have slight non-native accent in one or both
– They make occasional errors of syntax in one or both
– They do not always know the right words to use in one
– They may speak both languages fluently but are
culturally at ease only in one language.

• An understanding of bilingualism in its social,

psychological and cultural contexts is an essential initial
step before research in this area can be interpreted.
• Descriptors of Bilingualism
• Descriptors which refer to the degree of bilingualism
• Descriptors which refer to the context of bilingual
• Descriptors which refer to age of acquisition
• Descriptors which refer to the domain of use
• Descriptors which refer to social orientation.
• Descriptors which Refer to the Degree of Bilingualism
• Degree of bilingualism refers to the levels of linguistic
proficiency a bilingual must achieve in both languages to
be considered a bilingual.
– Is a bilingual someone who functions like two
– Or is a bilingual someone who needs only minimal
proficiency in one or both languages?

• These are the views of lay people and they echo the views
expressed by experts in the fields such as Bloomfield
(1933), Haugen (1953), Mackey (1962), and Weinreich

• Bloomfield (1933) defined bilingualism as “native-like

control of two languages”, while, in contrast, Mackey
(1962) defined bilingualism as “the ability to use more
than one language.”
• In a similar vein to Mackey, Weinreich (1953) defined
bilingualism as “the practice of alternately using two
languages” while Haugen (1953) proposed “the point
where a speaker can first produce complete meaningful
utterances in the other language” to be a starting point for
defining bilingualism.

• These definitions range from Bloomfield’s rigorous

expectations of balanced bilingualism to Mackey’s and
Weinreich’s and Haugen’s looser requirements of mere
ability or the practice of using two languages.

• Baetens Beardsmore (1982) described these two extremes

as minimalist (Mackey, Weinreich) and
maximalist(Bloomfield) in approach.
• The maximalist approach describes the ideal bilingual who
will find no match in reality (Ng and Wigglesworth, 2007).
• If we examine the experience of bilinguals around us, we
quickly realize that bilinguals do not and cannot function
like two monolinguals.

• Their degree of competence in both languages is greatly

influenced by the way each language is used, and this
differs greatly from individual to individual.

• Macnamara (1969) emphasized the need to discuss the

degree of bilingualism not as a unitary component but as
degree of competence in sub-components.

• The sub-components are the four macro skills of speaking,

writing, reading and listening.

• Competence in bilingualism is seen as a continuum with

individuals showing varying degrees of competence in
each of the macro skills.
• Discussion
• Rate the competence of your own language(s) in each of
the four macro skills of listening, speaking, reading and
writing. Use a five-point rating scale (1= weak, 5=
– What are some of the factors which impact your
– For each of the macro skills, consider how your rating
may change when you are performing different tasks
(e.g. reading a book vs reading a newspaper, etc)
• Definition of Terms

• Several terms such as balanced bilinguals, dominant

bilinguals, recessive bilinguals and semilinguals have been
used to categorize bilinguals according to the perceived
degree of proficiency they have in both languages.
• Balanced bilingual
– This term was first used by Lambert et al. (1959) in
Canada to describe individuals who are fully
competent in both languages.
– In most instances when this term is used, it describes
those who are thought to have perfect control of both
languages in ALL settings.
–Though it is possible to come across bilinguals who are
highly proficient in both languages, Baetens
Beardsmore (1982) argued that balanced bilingualism
is close to impossible to achieve, and is therefore very
– Fishman (1972) went further, arguing that bilinguals
are rarely equally fluent in both languages in all topics.
– He argued that sociolinguistic forces demand that
bilinguals organize their languages in functionally
complementary spheres.
– Fishman emphasized that it is this complementary
nature of language functions that assures the
continued existence of bilingualism, because any
society which produces bilinguals who use both
languages with equal competence in all contexts will
stop being bilingual, as no society needs two
languages to perform the same set of functions.

• Intheother words, balanced bilingualism necessarily entails

death of bilingualism.
• Dominant bilinguals
– This term refers to bilinguals who are dominant in one
language. In the context of discussing dominant
bilinguals, researchers will often refer to their less
dominant language as the subordinate language.
– However, one important criterion to note is that the
term “dominance” does not apply to all domains.

• Passive or recessive bilinguals

– This term refers to bilinguals who are gradually losing
competence in one language, usually because of
As the term “recessive” seems to have negative
connotations, some use the term “passive bilinguals”
to describe this group of bilinguals.

• In bilingual communities which are undergoing a shift from

one language to another (usually from the home language
to the dominant language in the society), it is not
uncommon to come across bilinguals who can only
understand but cannot speak the other language.

• In such contexts, passive bilingualism, the ability to

understand but not produce meaningful utterances, is
often contrasted with active bilingualism, the productive
use of both languages.

• Semilinguals, or limited bilinguals

–This term was first used by Hansegard in 1968 (cited in

Baker 2006) to refer to Finnish-minority students in
Sweden who lack proficiency in both their languages.
– Hansegard described semilingulism in terms of deficit
in six language competences”
• Size of vocabulary
• Correctness of language
• Unconscious processing of language
• Language creation ( neologization)
• Mastery of functions of language (e.g. emotive,
• Meanings and imagery

• According to these parameters, a semilingual is both

quantitatively and qualitatively deficient in comparison to
monolinguals, and semilingualism has been blamed for the
low academic achievement of minority students.

• Over the years, the term has accumulated pejorative

connotations, and researchers who invoked the use of this
concept have been widely rebutted for ignoring the socio-
political concerns implicit in the existence of semilinguals.

• It is argued that semilingualism is rooted in an

environment which is not conducive to ongoing
bilingualism, where the speakers were socially, politically
and economically disadvantaged.

• Therefore, semilingualism is a situation which is

engineered by the environment and not a consequence of
bilingualism since a monolingual in the same environment
would have faced the same degree of struggle in their
academic endeavors.
• Researchers who highlight the correlation of
semilingualism to poor academic achievement without
carefully separating the symptoms from the cause only
serve to perpetuate the negative stereo type of minority
• Equally critical is how the perception translates into
educational policies and curriculum for minority children.

• Cummins (1994) acknowledges that labelling someone as

“semilingual” is highly negative and may be detrimental to
children’s learning, and proposes an alternative label.
“limited bilingualism”, to describe the same condition.

• Compound and coordinate bilinguals

– Weinreich (1953) made a distinction between
compound and coordinate bilingualism.
– The compound bilingual supposedly had one semantic
system and two codes; the coordinate bilingual
supposedly had two semantic systems and two codes.
• Compound Bilingual
• A compound bilingual is an individual who learns two
languages in the same environment so that he/she
acquires one notion with two verbal expressions.
• Coordinate Bilingual

• A coordinate bilingual acquires the two languages in

different contexts (e.g. home and school), so the words of
the two languages belong to separate independent
• Discussion
• Think of bilinguals you know in your community. Are they
balanced, dominant, or passive? If you have put them in
one of the above categories, think about whether this is
the case in all domains of activity. What are some
problems you encountered during your decision-making

• Descriptors which Refer to the Context of Bilingual

Language Acquisition

• Although bilinguals share the common experience of using

more than one language in their lives, the ways in which
they acquire their languages vary.

• Some acquired both languages at home, some through

school or university, others through their working
environment, or through travel, or residence in a foreign

Within each of these domains (home, school or university,

work), there will be further differences.
• Contexts in which Bilinguals Acquire their Languages:
primary contexts and secondary contexts
– Primary contexts refer to situations where a child
acquires both languages in a naturalistic setting
without any structured instruction.
– Secondary contexts refer to the situation when a child
acquires one of the languages in a structured setting,
usually school.

• This creates a clear division where one language is

acquired in a naturalistic setting and the other is acquired
in a formal setting, usually a classroom.

• This distinction is sometimes referred to as:

natural bilingualism versus school bilingualism

• Children who acquire both languages in a primary context

acquire the languages as a result of natural input in the
• This input is usually provided by caregivers, often the
parents and/or siblings, when the child is an infant, but as
the child enters early childhood, the input can also
become from other sources, such as the extended family
and the wider community.

• Within the primary context, a further distinction is made

between: naturalistic fused and naturalistic separate.
– In a naturalistic fused setting, there is a separation of
context for both languages, and the child is exposed to
both languages in the same context.. In such
situations, both languages are used by the same

–In contrast, a bilingual in a naturalistic separate

context may hear and use one language only with one
parent, and another language with the other parent.

• The issue of primary and secondary contexts is important

especially in the study of language development in
bilinguals as there is some debate about whether one
context is more beneficial in promoting the desired
outcome in the language development of bilinguals.
• Discussion
• Do you think we can make a clear distinction between
primary and secondary contexts? Can you think of
situations when this distinction will be difficult to make?
Why do you think researchers make a distinction between
these two contexts? (Think about how the two contexts
can influence learning behavior and language use.)

• Elective bilinguals and Circumstantial bilinguals

– This is a distinction proposed by Valdes and Figueroa
(1994). Though these terms are not widely used, they
provide a very useful distinction when we are
considering different bilingual populations.

– Essentially, the distinguishing feature is one of volition

or choice as some bilinguals actively choose to be
bilingual but some just find themselves in a situation
where they have no choice but to be bilingual.
• Discussion

• Think of situations in the Philippines that reflect these two

types of bilinguals: the elective bilinguals and the
circumstantial bilinguals.
• Descriptors which Refer to Age of Acquisition

• Age has often been raised as an important descriptor for

bilingualism because of the robust research on the
relationship between age and language proficiency at
various linguistic level. (e.g. Johnson and Newport 1989;
Long 1990)
• Critical to any discussion of bilingualism is the issue of age
as there appears to be what we might call a sensitive age
for language learning, which ceases around puberty.
• The sensitive age is a reformulation of Lenneberg’s (1967)
critical period hypothesis.
• Age is a key consideration when discussing or assessing
bilinguals and the usual distinction made is between early
bilinguals and late bilinguals.
• Early bilinguals are those who are exposed to both
languages before adolescence and late bilinguals are those
who acquire the second language after adolescence.
• Apart from its relevance to researchers, this issue of age is
important as it can be used to rationalize educational
policies and curriculum planning. For example,
administrators often ask the question:”At what age should
we introduce the leaning of a new language?” or “Is it
futile to introduce language learning at secondary levels?”.
In addition, understanding the age factor affects bilinguals
may help us to frame expectations of language learning
outcomes in more realistic terms.
• Descriptors which Refer to Domain of Use
• The demarcation of functions, more commonly known as
domains, is central to any discussion of bilingualism.
• The term “domain” was first used by Fishman (1972) to
describe how speakers compartmentalize their language
• Very simply, domains refer to the different spheres of
influence in speakers’ lives and for language; Fishman
identified family, friendship, religion, education and
employment as the main domains.
• These domains often determine the variety of language as
well as the style of language use.

• However, topic is another factor which can often override

the influence of domain.

• Hoffman (1991) summarized the most critical domains as

the person, place and topic.

• It is a well-documented sociolinguistic phenomenon that

interlocutors, or the persons we are speaking to or
communicating with, will affect not only our stylistic
choice of language, but also our language options.

• Place or location can also have a strong impact on

language choice.
• Descriptors which Refer to Social Orientation
• The attitudes of bilinguals to their bilingual status, as well
as the attitudes of the wider community, are also factors
which contribute to our understanding of bilingualism.

• Many bilinguals live in places where home language is

different from the language spoken outside the home, and
this is common in countries such as the United States,
Australia and Britain.

• In this context, bilingual children generally receive little or

no school support for their home language.
• Language maintenance of the home language is then
relegated to something that that is pursued outside the
school contexts.
• In the literature, this situation is often perceived as
subtractive bilingualism as learning a new language may
mean losing competence in the first language (Lambert

• In view of the negative connotations attached to

subtractive bilingualism, a more neutral term like
“differential bilingualism” may be more appropriate for
this phenomenon.
• Instead of simple replacement of L1 by L2, differential
bilingualism highlights the differential development of the
bilingual’s first and second language.

• When languages enjoy official patronage, there is an

implicit political will to ensure language maintenance in
such situation, and there is usually high instrumental
motivation to maintain high degrees of bilingualism as
learning an additional language provides a skill which
enhances the individual’s opportunities in life.

• This conducive language environment is referred to as

additive bilingualism where learning a new language is
seen as a form of enrichment or an asset widely desired by
the community.

• Some multilingual societies are so diversified that often

certain languages, usually the vernaculars (languages used
in informal settings), are sacrificed as bilingual policies
promote languages which are not the mother tongue of
the speakers.

Topic 2

Bilingual Acquisition
• Is it more difficult for a child to learn two languages than
to learn one language?

• Does learning two languages affect the rate at which

language is acquired?

• At what point does the child differentiate between the two

• This topic focuses on children who grow up learning two
languages simultaneously. That is, it is concerned only
with the situation where the child acquires two languages
from very early on – bilingual first-language acquisition
(BFLA) (De Houwer 1995) and not with cases acquires one
language, and then a second is introduced – even though it
may occur at a relatively young age.
• Acquiring Two Languages

• The range of possibilities for raising children bilingually is

both enormous and extremely variable.

• There are many factors which may impact upon the

successful acquisition, or not, of two or more languages.

• Language is not neutral. This means that some types of

behavior are likely to influence the child’s attitudes
towards the two languages in either negative or positive
• Although all normally functioning children will learn the
language of their parents and community in a monolingual
setting without difficulty, this is not necessarily the case
for bilingual children.
• Not all children learning two or more languages are raised
in bilingual communities.
• Thus growing up bilingual cannot be assumed, and there
are many factors which contribute to its success.
• Discussion
• What sorts of factors do you think might contribute to a
child’s successfully learning two languages from an early
– Think about the kind of environment the child might
be growing up in, and assume that the child has two
parents who speak different languages.
– Consider the implications of the language the parents
speak to each other.
– Make a list of those factors which you feel might
contribute to successful bilingual acquisition and
those factors which you feel might detract from its
• Among the factors which affect the acquisition of two
languages simultaneously are the quality and the quantity
of the interaction.
• This is particularly important in situations where one
language is a minority language and where the child needs
to be encouraged to talk in the minority language.

• What may be critical to the long-term success of the child’s

bilingualism is a positive attitude towards the minority
language, together with plenty of opportunities to use it.
• Most of our knowledge about the ways in which children
learn two languages comes from detailed studies of single
children acquiring two languages (e.g. De Houer 1990;
Hoffman 1985; Lanza 1997; Leopold 1947, 1949) or small
groups of children (e.g. Dopke 1992; Zentella 1997).

• With these children, it is often the case that one of their

languages is the minority language and the main input for
this language is from one parent.
• Teasing out the generalization from bilingual language-
acquisition research is often difficult because of the
variability inherent in any such study.
• For each study of a bilingual child, the child may be
learning two languages (which may be different from the
two languages any other child is learning), in an
environment which may also be different from any other
child’s environment.
• Children acquire language at greatly varying rates and
adopt different strategies and approaches in the process.
• These differences are compounded when the child is
becoming bilingual.
• However, in general, it appears that bilingual children
acquire both their languages at a similar rate and in a
similar manner (see, for example, Petitto 2001) to
monolingual children.
• Defining Bilingual First-Language Acquisition
• The term bilingual first-language acquisition is now fairly
widely used to refer to children in a bilingual environment
acquiring two languages simultaneously from birth (see De
Houwer 1995).
• McLaughlin (1984) used the term to refer to children
learning two languages under the age of three. However,
there are problems with this definition particularly
because by the age of three the first language is generally
relatively well established.

• Children at this age speak relatively fluently, are

developing rapidly in terms of their knowledge and use of
syntax and morphology, and demonstrate rudimentary
awareness of the social and pragmatic constraints of the
language they are acquiring.

• There is now little doubt that bilingual children

differentiate their two languages pragmatically (i.e. they
know which language to use to whom and for which
different purposes) by at least the age of two. (Ng &
Wigglesworth 2007)

• The most straightforward definition of bilingual first –

language acquisition is one where the child has access to
both languages from birth. Clearly this is the least arbitrary
definition available.
• However, it is also somewhat limiting. Intuitively we might
also wish to categorize as simultaneous acquisition the
case of the child who has access to both languages from six
months, or eight months, or perhaps twelve months – in
other words, before the child begins to speak, which is on
average around the age of ten to fourteen months.
• However, we must take into consideration the fact that
that even if we adopt this rather more lenient definition of
simultaneous languages until the age of twelve months,
the definition fails to take into account the substantial a
child learns about language before the first word is even
• Despite these caveats, it is this definition we have chosen
to adopt.
• The Complex Linguistic Environment of the Child

• The majority of children are born into social and cultural

situations where they have access to more than one
language (see Bhatia and Ritchie 2004).
• Children who are born into bi- or multilingual societies will
naturally develop two or more languages since this is the
norm in such communities -- almost everyone speaks
more than one language.
• While this is probably the most common environment for
the acquisition of two languages, it also tends to be the
least investigated (Romaine 1995).
• Fewer children will develop their two languages in a
situation in which the surrounding community is
monolingual, although this is the group which tends to be
the most studied – largely because the majority of the
detailed case studies of bilingual language acquisition are
the result of linguists studying their own children.

• The degree to which the child will become a successful

bilingual is determined by a number of variables. These
include individual factors and societal factors.
• From the extensive research on (monolingual) first-
language acquisition children learn language at greatly
varying rates and in a variety of different ways.
• These differences are compounded when the child is
becoming bilingual.
• In general terms there is little evidence that bilingual
children acquire either of their languages more slowly than
monolingual children, despite having to cope with two
different systems.
• However, we need to bear in mind that:
– Bilinguals rarely use their languages equally frequently
in every domain of their social environment. Rather
they use each of them for different purposes, in
different contexts, and in communicating with
different partners. Consequently, their abilities and
skills in using each of these languages reflect their
preferences and needs in the multifaceted social
context in which they interact with others. (Meisel

• To become bilingual, a child must grow up in a bilingual

environment. The question, though, of what constitutes a
bilingual environment is a difficult one because the
bilingual environments to which the child is exposed can
vary enormously.
• Romaine (1995) outlines a number of different bilingual
environment dimensions determined by three criteria,
each of which may impact on the eventual success of the
child’s bilingualism:
– The language(s) which the parents speak and whether
they are the same or different
– The language which is spoken in the community in
which the family lives, and whether this community is
monolingual or bilingual
– Whether the language(s) spoken are the same as or
different from those of the parents and the strategies
the parents adopt in speaking to the child
• The complex interplay of variables which affect the
bilingual child’s acquisition of two systems can be
illustrated by comparing the linguistic input of
monolingual children to that of bilingual children. While
individual languages differ in terms of structure,
phonology, pragmatics, socio-cultural norms, etc., despite
these differences monolingual children receive linguistic
input which is homogeneous in a number of important
• It consists of one language only.
• Both parents speak that language to the child.
• The language of the community around them is the same
as the language spoken at home.
• When they enter into formal childcare and/or educational
institutions the language they have learned is the one
used in the institutional setting.

• For children born into bi- or monolingual families (or

communities), this is not the case. Bilingual or
multilingual children will experience some or all of the
• Linguistic input that consists of more than one language
• Each parent speaking a different language to them
• The language of the community differing from either one
or both of the languages they speak at home
• The languages in formal childcare and/or educational
institutions not being one of the languages to which they
have been exposed

• Any concept of bilingualism is relative – while bilinguals

certainly do speak two languages and may sound native-
like in both, it is rare to find an individual who does not
have one dominant language which is more dominant than
the other, particularly in functional terms.

• Bilinguals are not the same as two monolinguals in one

person (see Grosjean 1989 for the discussion of this issue).

• For almost bilinguals, their languages will be functionally

• One System or Two?
• One of the most famous pervasive questions in bilingual
child language acquisition has been the issue of whether
the child begins with one linguistic system or two. In other
words, is the child initially unable to differentiate between
the two systems, and in this is the case, how early, and at
what stage, do the two linguistic systems become
• This question has motivated a substantial volume of
• The importance of this question resulted initially from the
view, largely held within the monolingual language
communities, that exposure of children to two languages
could be detrimental.
• Bilingualism was considered to be a possible source of
confusion for children, so that if children were to begin
with two languages, it would make learning both
languages more difficult.

• The concern, then, was that they might end up with

deficiencies in both languages.
• One system
– Evidence for the idea of single system was empirically
supported by examples of language mixing which were
reported in early bilingual acquisition (e.g. Lindholm
and Padilla 1978; Rodlinger and Park 1980).

• This unitary language system assumed an underlying

undifferentiated subsystem for each of phonology, lexicon
and syntax (Genesee 1989).

• In other words, it was suggested that the child did not

initially have differentiated systems for the language to
which s/he was exposed.
• Two systems

–The alternative hypothesis, the independent

hypothesis, claims that children acquiring two
languages separate the languages from a very early
• Parental Strategies and the Sociolinguistic Context

• Essential to an understanding of how the bilingual child’s

language development are documented records of the
amount and type of input the child receives in his/her
different languages.

The first two strategies used by the parent are essentially

requests for clarification. For example, if we assume that
the child is acquiring two languages, A and B, and is in a
context with the parent who speaks Language A, then,
when using the minimal grasp strategy, the parent will
respond to the child’s utterance in Language B by
requesting clarification in Language A.

• Similarly, with the expressed guess strategy the parent will

make a guess (using Language A) at the child’s meaning (in
Language B). Both these responses are likely to encourage
the child to use Language A since they do not necessarily
imply full understanding by this parent of Language B.
• The adult repetition strategy, in which the adult repeats in
Language A the child’s utterance in Language B, may
encourage the child to speak in Language A.
• However, this strategy also demonstrates to the child that
the parent understands Language B.
• This point is important since this may indicate to the child
that use of Language B, while perhaps not preferred, is
certainly acceptable.
• Similarly, with the move-on strategy, the parent is
demonstrating that the child’s utterance has been
understood simply by allowing the conversation or the
activity to continue.
• Thus these two strategies both imply that the parent has a
good understanding of Language B. They do not
necessarily encourage the child to think in terms of having
to use Language A exclusively.
• The strategy code mixing is where the parent switches
from Language A to Language B in response to the child’s
code mix, thus implicitly accepting the child’s code-
switiching. (lanza 1997, 2004)

• The different strategies can be used to examine parental

discourse strategies In interacting with their bilingual
• Other Factors Impacting on Bilingual Education
• The status of the minority language in the family

• The location in which the languages are used. This

phenomenon where language is associated with specific
situations, is not unusual.

• Quay (1998) argues that it is important for parents to be

flexible in their language use with their children to ensure
that children being raised bilingually grow up with
appropriate awareness of appropriate bilingual behavior in
different linguistic contexts.

Topic 3
Bilingualism and Cognitive Ability
• Is bilingualism likely to interfere with the child’s general
overall development?
• Is bilingualism beneficial to a child’s mental development?
• Will learning two languages be confusing for a child?

• Despite the fact that bilingualism is the way of life for the
majority of the world’s population, the question of
whether or not bilingualism should be encouraged is often
asked in countries where the population is predominantly
• Where countries which are multilingual are concerned, the
question is sometimes asked when the second or third
languages involved are those that do not enjoy official
The people who are most concerned with these questions
are generally parents and educators who wish to raise
their children in the best possible language environment.

• Over the years research has evolved from a predominantly

pessimistic view of bilingualism to one of optimism as the
beneficial effects of bilingualism on both the social and the
cognitive abilities of bilinguals have become more widely
• Discussion
• If you were a parent from a monolingual society bringing
up a child in a place where English is the dominant
language used in schools and in other public domains,
what concerns might you have about:
– Not being able to give the child enough English input
at home before the start of school?
– Encouraging your child to spend more time learning
and using your heritage language?
– The impact of your child’s heritage language on
his/her English competence?
• The Early Years: Bilingualism Has Detrimental Effects on
Cognitive Functioning
• While bilingualism itself has a long history, it was not till
the mid 19th century that possible harmful effects of
speaking a second language were formally expressed by
Humboldt (1767-1835), who argued that it is only thru
monolingualism that we preserve the essence of each
individual language.

• Though Humboldt’s idealization of bilingualism did not

help in affirming the status of bilingualism, it was the
“hard” evidence from social science that delivered the
most damage.
• The earliest documented empirical work on the
detrimental effects of bilingualism came from 3 articles
published by Saer and his colleagues between 1922 and
1924 (Saer 1923; Saer et al. 1924), which found mainly
negative effects for bilingualism.
• These studies were crucial in influencing decades of
subsequent research.
• Despite severe methodological flaws, a whole series of
studies confirmed the inferiority of bilinguals in both
verbal and non-verbal tasks.
• In some studies, they were found to perform poorly only
on tests of non-verbal intelligence (see Darcy 1953 for a
comprehensive review).
• In these studies there is no doubt that being tested in the
weaker language is one of the reasons why the bilinguals
performed poorly in the experimental tasks.
• Despite their methodological flaws, these studies had
considerable influence, and by the middle of the 20th
century he opinion that bilingualism is detrimental to
cognitive functioning was firmly established.
• This was so despite the fact that several contemporary
studies had found no significant positive or negative
impact of bilingualism on mental functioning.
• The most severe criticism of studies from this early period
concerns the inadequate definition of bilingualism and the
confounding of SES and ethnicity variables.
• Most of the studies in this period fail to control adequately
for the effects of SES, with bilingualism frequently being
severely confounded with low SES.
• In a detailed analysis of preceding studies, McCarthy
(1930) reported that more than half of the bilingual
schoolchildren in such studies came from typical working-
class backgrounds.
• In contrast, the English monolinguals were from educated
middle-class homes.
• Furthermore, how bilingual proficiency was measured in
the bulk of early studies was problematic.
• After four decades of inconclusive findings, the turning
point came in 1962, when Peal and Lambert published
their ground-breaking paper on this topic.
• Bilingualism Enhances Cognitive Functioning

• Despite inconclusive evidence about the negative effects

of bilingualism up until the 1960s bilingualism was not a
concept that was associated with anything positive.

• In the first documented case study of a bilingual, Leopold

(1949) cited his bilingual daughter Hildegarde’s
metalinguistic awareness as evidence of the enhancing
effects of bilingualism.
• He noticed that she was precociously aware of rhymes and
would deliberately destroy rhymes in word play. Leopold
argued that bilinguals were able to detach sound from
meaning because of the constant early exposure to two
languages. So, from a very young age a bilingual child is
constantly aware ot two competing forms for one
meaning. Thus, he stressed, puts a bilingual child in a
position of advantage over a monolingual child.

• Although Leopold is fondly cited by researchers, a single

case study in the midst of a robust body of work pointing
to the contrary was bound to have little impact.
• In this respect, Peal and Lambert’s (1962) study, which
reexamined the issue of the relationship of bilingualism to
intelligence, marked a major watershed in the history of
bilingual research.

• Peal and Lambert (1962) strictly controlled the SES and

language background of 364 bilingual and monolingual
participants in their Canadian study. They screened their
sample with great care, matching the children on SES, sex,
age, language, intelligence and attitude.
• Their study found that once SES and language competence
variables were controlled, bilinguals outperformed
monolinguals in IQ tests.
• Moreover, bilinguals were also found to have more
positive attitudes towards French-speaking communities
than their (English or French) monolingual counterparts
• Bilingualism and Intelligence
• On the surface, Peal and Lambert’s landmark study laid to
rest previous claims of monolingual superiority in IQ tests.
• However, the first challenge that Peal and Lambert faced
was the criticism that their bilingual subjects were
somehow more intelligent to start with, and this was why
they were so efficiently bilingual.
• By stringently controlling the level of bilingualism in their
subjects, they might have in effect precluded those of
lower intelligence from participating in their study.
• This is not an insignificant point as previous studies (e.g.
Gardner and Lambert 1959) had shown a positive
correlation between language aptitude and intelligence.

• One may ask whether the more intelligent children, as

measured by non-verbal intelligence tests, are the ones
who become bilingual, or whether bilingualism itself has a
favorable effect on non-verbal intelligence.

• Peal and Lambert’s own exploratory analysis seemed to

indicate that some level of intelligence is essential for

• However, this does not rule out the Fact that bilingualism
may in some ways be a positive influence on non-verbal

• This thorny “chicken first or egg first” issue was finally

resolved by Hakuta and Diaz (1985), who conducted a
longitudinal study which tracked the relationship between
cognition and bilingual proficiency.
• By assessing both the language proficiency and the
cognitive level of bilinguals over time, Hakuta and Diaz
presented findings which conclusively supported the
hypothesis that it is bilingual proficiency that exerts an
influence on cognitive functioning and not the other way
• By confirming the positive causal relationship between
intelligence and bilingualism their study marks another key
turning point.

• However, in a later study, Hakuta (1987) reanalyzed the

longitudinal data abd argued that, while the degree of
bilingualism was a better predictor of cognitive ability, the
reverse was also true, although the effect was not quite as
• He also reported another set of results, which indicated
that there was no relationship between increased bilingual
proficiency and the metalinguistic awareness for the
bilingual sample, who were drawn mainly from lower SES
• Hakuta argued that the context in which bilinguals
function must be taken into account. In this case, the
bilinguals were bilingual in a subtractive setting.
• Current Views on the Effects of Bilingualism
• The direction of research following Peal and Lambert’s
study took an about-turn. Since 1965, a stream of papers
have highlighted the positive effects of bilingualism and
marked a change in research focus.
• Instead of making a general search for IQ superiority, the
new generation of researchers have been far more specific
in their enquiry.
• Various researchers found that bilinguals were superior to
monolinguals on tasks requiring cognitive flexibility and
metalinguistic awareness, while others argued that special
conditions have to exist before bilinguals can enjoy the
cognitive benefits.
• These conditions are usually related to the level of
proficiency attained in the two languages.
• Cognitive flexibility
– Loosely defined, cognitive flexibility is used to mean
creativity or ability to use divergent thinking, such as
the ability to generate multiple associations from one
concept, or the ability to mentally reorganize the
elements of a problem or situation.
• Metalinguistic awareness
– As indicated by Leopold in 1949, bilinguals have an
advantage when it comes to analyzing language forms
owing to their early exposure to two different
linguistic codes, since such exposure promotes a more
analytic orientation to linguistic operations.
– As a result, bilinguals are metalinguistically more
aware than monolinguals, a trait which Cummins
(1977) defined as the development of children’s
awareness of certain properties of language including
their ability to analyze linguistic input.
• Broadly defined, metalinguistic awareness is the ability to
focus on different levels of linguistic structures such as
words, phonemes and syntax.
• Generally, studies have targeted the following aspects of
linguistic structure:
– Word awareness
– Phonological awareness
– Sentence awareness
– Semantic awareness

• In sum, the evidence that bilingualism per se does not

cause any harm has been firmly established.
• The literature in this area is far too robust for anyone still
to maintain that bilingualism is detrimental to cognitive
• Most of the articles that reported negative findings were
either methodologically or theoretically flawed.

• While we can confidently bury the “bilingualism is bad”

precept, we can only hypothesize that “bilingualism is
good” under certain conditions and in certain contexts.
Topic 4
Language Attrition in Bilinguals
• What happens to your language skills if you do not use the
language for a period of time?
• Do we forget first the things we learned first? Are you
likely to lose skills in a language more rapidly if you stop
using it at a younger age?
• Will increased competence in the language make attrition
less likely? Can language attrition be reversed?
• Language Attrition and Language Shift

• While language attrition or forgetting (Hansen 2001), is for

most part a psycholinguistic process which takes place at
an individual level, it is strongly influenced by a number of
social variables.
• Language shift, however, occurs at the societal level and is
usually the result of language contact.
• Across the world, large numbers of languages have been
lost as a result of contact between two or more languages,
particularly where one language is dominant and is
considered to be the prestige language.

• In such situations ( for example, where the first language

of an immigrant is used alongside the language of the
adopted country), there is always a danger that the
minority language will be lost.
• To some extent, this is related to individual language
attrition as, when a community ceases to use its traditional
language and no longer passes it on to its children, there is
an imminent danger of the language being lost.
• In some cases , such as the immigrant example, this will
not necessarily result in language death since the
immigrant language will presumably continue to be
spoken back in the home country.
• In other situations, however, there is a danger of the
language being lost altogether. For example, in Australia,
many Aboriginal languages have now disappeared and
many more are in a period of transition from the
traditional language to some form of creole (a hybrid
language resulting from contact between English and the
traditional language).
• What both language attrition at the individual level and
language shift at the societal level have in common is lack
of use:
• …in language loss, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistic
processes interact and … in this interaction language use is
the crucial and pivotal issue, both in intragenerational
attrition and intergenerational shift. Language use is
considered as the single important variable in both
acquisition and language loss.
(De Bot 2001)
• Types of Language Attrition
• The most common types of language attrition are: the loss
of second language in a first-language environment and
the loss of a first language in a second-language
• In these situations, attrition occurs naturalistically in
environments in which another language or languages are
dominant (Olshtain 1989).
• This contrasts with attrition which results from the effects
of age, trauma or pathological decline of some sort (see
Paradis 2004 for an extensive treatment of these issues..
• Hypotheses about Language Attrition
• There are various hypotheses that attempt to explain
language attrition, with the earliest being the Regression
• This was proposed by Jakobson (1941) in the context of
aphasia, and postulated that language attrition was the
reverse process of language acquisition.
• The hypothesis proposed that what was last learned, in
terms of language, would be the first lost in the process of
• Although Jakobson’s hypothesis was designed to explain
language attrition in aphasics, aphasic language attrition is
not progressive and the hypothesis has not been
empirically supported.
• Support for this hypothesis has been somewhat limited
because, as Tomiyama (2000) pointed out, it is clear that
other factors such as frequency of input and the saliency of
the linguistic items under study impact on whether or not
a specific linguistic feature is lost.

• To some extent the issue of frequency has been addressed

by the Activation Threshold hypothesis (Paradis 1997),
which takes into account the frequency with which a
linguistic item is used.
• This hypothesis specifies the relation between the
frequency of use of a linguistic item and its activation and
availability to the language user. The more an item is
activated, the lower its activation threshold is. The
threshold of activation raises if the item in inactive, i.e.
unselected ( and disused). It is more difficult to
(re)activate an item with a high activation threshold.
(Gurel 2004)
• Many of the studies of language attrition that are reported
in the literature are case studies of single individuals, or
small numbers of individuals.
• Each of these individuals is likely to have had very different
experiences both in learning their languages in the first
place and in their later attrition and the reasons for it.
• It has to be borne in mind that studies in attrition by their
nature have to be longitudinal.
Topic 5
Attitudes and Bilingualism
• What is language attitude?
• What role does it play in bilingual and multilingual
• What impact does it have on bilingual proficiency, bilingual
language choice, bilingual identity and the survival of
bilingual communities?
• Attitude is a concept central to bilingualism and has given
rise to innumerable studies in the field of social psychology
and even more in the description and analysis of bilingual
and multilingual communities
• In most studies, speakers are found to have specific
attitudes to speakers of different languages, dialects and

• As speakers themselves are unaware of these attitudes,

there is a tendency for them to form stereotypes based on
these attitudes.

• This, in turn, exerts a strong influence on social

perceptions – the process through which we seek to
understand others around us.(Baron & Byrne 1997)
• In the bilingual context, attitude has been linked in various
ways to the language proficiency, use of the bilingual’s two
languages and bilinguals’ perception of other communities
and themselves.
• It has been linked also to the vitality of bilingual
communities and, finally, to the loss of language within the

• Attitude is a potent force that underscores both the

experience of being bilingual and the way members of a
minority group contribute to the maintenance of a
minority language. (Hamers and Blanc 2000)

• The intricate link between attitudes and language use is

succinctly captured by Baker (1992), who points out that
policy implementations cannot afford to ignore prevailing
language attitudes as they provide social indicators of
changing beliefs.

• Helanguage
argues that “in the life of a language, attitudes to that
appear to be important in language restoration,
preservation, decay or death” (Baker 1992).
• Discussion
• List three to five languages you hear around you in your
• Next , ask yourself what your instinctive feeling is for each
of the languages.
• You might like to note down any adjectives that come to
mind for each language.
• Do your responses give you some indication about the
attitudes that you may have to each of the languages?
• Methodology Used in Language Attitude Studies
• How attitude is defined
Our idea of what constitutes language attitude has been
influenced by developments in social psychology.
Cargile et al. (1994) interpret language attitudes as a
disposition to react favorably or unfavorably to a situation,
an object or an event.
• More importantly, to social psychologists, attitude is part
of the mental schema which we use to perceive the world
and to guide social relationships (Baron ans Byrne 1997).
• In essence, these mental schemata allow us to rely on
cognitive shortcuts to process social information
• It is within this framework that various studies on
language attitude have attempted to measure the
attitudes of people towards speakers of different
languages, dialects and accents.

• The issue of how attitude should be defined has generated

substantial discussion, but the following commonalities
across different researchers, identified by Agheysi and
Fishman (1970), provide a useful guide.
• Language attitudes are:
– Related to the perception of speakers of different
language varieties
– Learned from the individual’s experience
– Of an enduring, rather than momentary nature
– Related to behavior, although it is difficult to make
categorical statements about this relationship

• Using this as a backdrop, Baker (1992) says definition of

attitude comprises the three major components of

– Cognition
– Affect
– Readiness for action
• Ways of Evaluating and Measuring Attitudes

• Direct methods
–Direct questioning
–Using a questionnaire
• Indirect methods
– Indirect methods seek to measure language attitudes
without letting participants know that it is their
language attitude which is under study.
– A method pioneered by Lambert et al. (1960) called
the matched-guise (MG) technique is now widely used
in language attitude research.
• In typical MG study, speech samples of fluent bilingual
speakers are recorded, with speakers speaking in both
languages. Researchers using MG tasks usually control the
guises (the speech samples of the bilingual) by ensuring
that both speech samples are neutral in content.

• These guises are then played to participants, who are

asked to rate “each “ speaker on a range of semantic
differential scales, such as perceived degree of intelligence,
honesty, education etc.

• The purpose is to gather subjective reactions to the

speakers, but not to the language.

• Semantic Differential. The semantic differential (Osgood.

Sue , and Tannenbaun, 1957) is a measuring instrument that
focuses on a single word or concept at a time to measure
the connotative meaning of that concept. Then a series of
bipolar adjective scales are given, and the respondents are
asked to indicate their feelings (perceptions) on each scale
with respect to the word or concept.
• In these situations, the taped speech sample is stripped of
all cues except the language , hence the participants are
responding to variations in language, as the speakers off
both guises are the same person.
• The MG technique is the most common indirect method
used to measure language attitude.
• There is now proliferation of studies using variations of the
MG tasks.
• Apart from the use of questionnaires, interviews and MG
techniques, one could also use observations as a way of
unobtrusively assessing attitudes.
• In this case, attitudes are inferred from observed behavior.
• However, the validity of this assumption is questionable as
observations are susceptible to a wide range of subjective
• Language Prestige and Language Attitudes

• The observation that languages within a community may

relate to prestige in a specific way was first made by
Ferguson (1959).
• He first used the term diglossia to describe a situation
where two related languages in a community, for example,
are allocated different functions.

• The High variety usually attracts wider social prestige

while the Low variety is used in the home environment
and for-in group communication.

• The Ferguson model of diglossia is often referred to as

classic diglossia (Myers-Scotton 2006).

• The concept of diglossia was extended by Fishman (1972)

to language pairs which are not related in bilingual

• In a typical Fishman diglossic situation, the two languages

within a community enjoy different status and prestige
and are allocated different functions.
Although Fishman’s extension of diglossia to include
unrelated languages in bilingual communities has been
debated (see Hudson 2007), it is very useful framework as
status and prestige continue to be very salient features
when describing language use in bilingual communities.
• Identity and Language Attitude

• Language is commonly used as an identification to

separate one community from another. In these cases,
high ratings for solidarity features could also indicate that
language holds a strong identity marker for the community
(Fasold 1984).

Topic 6
Measuring Bilingualism
• What does it mean to know a language?
• What does language knowledge consist of, and how do we
measure it?
• Should a bilingual’s two languages be measured against
the single language of a monolingual?
• How do we measure the language knowledge of native
• Whom Are We Testing?
• Tests of all kinds are generally developed for specific
populations. Because of the very varied nature of
bilingualism and the myriad different ways that people
acquire some degree of bilingualism, it is helpful to
delineate the circumstances under which we assess the
language of people who are bilingual.

• We can consider classifying bilingual speakers into three

different groups:

–Developing bilinguals
–Stable bilinguals
–Attriting bilinguals
• Stable bilinguals are generally people for whom
bilingualism is a way of life, and for whom the daily use of
two languages is the norm rather than the exception. They
may either be elective bilinguals or circumstantial
bilinguals, although they are probably more likely to come
from the latter.
• They may use both languages in different contexts – for
example, they may speak speak Language A at home and
Language B at work, or they may use both languages in a
variety of contexts.
• Alternatively, they may live in a multilingual community
where two or more languages are used routinely.
• Attriting bilinguals consist of those individuals who are, for
some reason, suffering from some aspect of language
• They mat result from lack of contact and lack of use of
their languages, or may be the result of pathological
factors either associated with age or as a consequence of
some kind of accident.
• For this topic, we will concentrate on the issues that
surround the measurement of the language of what we
term developing bilinguals.

• We focus on this group because it is the largest and the

most widely assessed group.

• Developing bilinguals may either be elective bilinguals or

circumstantial bilinguals.

• Each group has quite different characteristics.

• Characteristics and Examples of Elective and Circumstantial


• The major difference between elective bilinguals and

circumstantial bilinguals is that, for the former, there is
generally some element of choice about learning a second
language, the the latter are obliged to learn another
language as a result of the circumstance in which they find
• Workshop
• Try to think of some examples of people who are
“elective” bilinguals and people who are “circumstantial”
• Cn an individual move from one group to the other?
• Can you be a member of both groups at the same time?
• Would you yourself qualify for membership of one of the
groups? Which one?
• Assessing Bilingual Proficiency

• The assessment of bilingual language proficiency is difficult

in part because we are immediately confronted with the
question of “What is a bilingual”, or, as Bialystok (2001)
puts it, “When is enough enough?”
• The problem of knowing who is bilingual conceals a more
basic question : how much is enough?
• Who among us does not know pieces of some other
language – words or phrases, perhaps a rule or two, and
some social routines.
• These fragments hardly count as competence in the
language, but how much more is required before some
implicit threshold is reached?

• Accepting the standard assumption that no bilingual is

ever equally competent in both languages, how much
language is needed before we agree that a person is

• The answer depends on how we define language

• What constitutes language proficiency is a difficult
• When we want to measure the language of bilinguals, we
are often (though not always) concerned not only with
measuring one language but with measuring both
languages, and with measuring the interrelationship
between these two languages.
• We have used the distinction between elective and
circumstantial bilinguals to help us respond to Bialystok’s
when “enough is enough.”
• By drawing this distinction between the two groups, it can
be argued that for elective bilinguals we almost never
assess both languages.

Rather, we assume the speaker’s proficiency in their first

language, and assess only their proficiency in their second.
• For circumstantial bilinguals, however, he situation is
rather different.
• This is because often we should be concerned with
assessing both languages because circumstantial bilinguals
use language in different contexts and to assess only one
may not give us a full picture of the individual’s overall
language ability.

Topic 7
Education and Literacy in Bilingual Settings
• What is bilingual education?
• Are some models of bilingual education more successful
than others?
• Do children learn to read better if they initially acquire
literacy skills in their first language?
• How do children develop literacy in two languages?
• There is a broad range of different models which all come
under the general term bilingual education.
• Baker (2006) distinguishes between three major
approaches to bilingual education:
– Monolingual forms of education for bilinguals
– Weak forms of bilingual education for bilinguals
– Strong forms of bilingual education for bilingualism
and biliteracy

• Hammers and Blanc (2000), however restrict their

definition of bilingual education to “any system of school
education in which , at a given moment in time, and for a
varying amount of time, simultaneously or consecutively,
instruction is planned and given in at least two languages.
• In other words, for Hamers and Blanc, only Baker’s third
category would constitute bilingual education.
• The distinction between strong forms of bilingual
education and the weak and monolingual forms is
important because it discriminates between subtractive
educational practices and additive educational practices.
• In both monolingual and weak forms of bilingual
education, the programs are subtractive in the sense that
the second language is developed at the expense of the
child’s first or native language, whereas additive
approaches foster the development of both the first and
the second language (Brisk 2006).
• Monolingual and Weak Forms of Bilingual Education
• Monolingual and weak forms of bilingual education are
designed for minority-language children
• The main aim of such program is to assimilate children into
the mainstream (monolingual) educational system as soon
as possible.
• Programs of this type are not designed to foster the
children’s first or native language(s).

• Where parents decide this is important, it must be done

outside the mainstream school curriculum, and to address
this need, Saturday and after-school programs are often
designed for this purpose.
• Monolingual forms of bilingual education
Following Baker’s (2006) categorization, in monolingual
forms of education children are mainstreamed into normal
classes and submersed immediately into their second
language. There are various ways in which the children
may be given language tuition in the majority language,
among which are the following:
– They may receive a period of intensive majority
language tuition before entering the mainstream
– They may initially receive intensive majority-language
tuition in specific classes separate from the
mainstream classes.
– They may spend half a day, or some other proportion
of the day, in a majority-language class and the
remainder of the day in mainstream classes.
– They may be placed in a mainstream class but with
additional assistance from a specialist majority-
language teacher working in the classroom.
– They may be withdrawn from the class for specific
periods of time for majority-language classes.
– They may be placed in a mainstream class with no
additional support other than the general classroom
teacher. In this context, as Baker (2006) puts it,
students will either sink, struggle or swim.
Generally, where majority language support is provided,
it is limited in duration.
• Weak forms of bilingual education
Bilingual transitional education is another term used for
“weak” forms of bilingual education.
In this model, children begin school with some language
support in their first language. This generally takes the
form of school content, such as mathematics, literacy and
other subjects, which are taught in the first language with
a gradual and increasing move to teaching in the 2nd

• Bilingual transitional programs vary in both the amount of

L1 education and the length of time over which it is
• Strong Bilingual Education Programs
• In these bilingual education programs, two languages are
routinely used for the purposes of teaching content
• Baker (2006) distinguishes ten different types of bilingual
education programs, which included heritage-language
maintenance programs.
• Brisk (2006), however, identifies 11 different programs.
• Below are three major types of bilingual programs which
are designed specifically to foster both bilingualism and
– Immersion programs for majority children where
children coming from same first-language background
are educated in a second majority language
– Dual-language programs (or two-way immersion
programs) in which mixed groups of majority –
language and minority-language children are educated
in two languages
– Programs designed to maintain or revitalize
indigenous languages of bilingual minority children
where children are educated in both the majority
language and the minority language with the specific
aim of maintaining, or in some cases, revitalizing, the
minority language

The main difference between these bilingual education

programs and the monolingual and weak bilingual
programs is that the three approaches to bilingual
education promote additive bilingualism.
• In programs of this type, a major aim is to ensure that both
the L1 and L2 are maintained and developed.
• Biliteracy: A Developmental Perspective
• Hornberger (2004) defined biliteracy as “any and all
instances in which communication occurs in two (or more)
languages in or around writing”.
• Reiterating the same idea in a more elaborate way, Perez
and Torres-Guzman (1996) described biliteracy as the
“acquisition and learning of the decoding and encoding of
and around print using two linguistic and cultural systems
in order to convey messages in a variety of contexts”.
• Very literally, when we study biliteracy we are concerned
with the development of reading and writing skills in both
the child’s languages.
• Hornberger (2004) views biliteracy as affected by four
– Contexts of biliteracy
– The development of biliteracy
– Content of literacy
– Media of literacy
• Literacy Issues Faced by Bilingual Children

• Bialystok (2004) comments that when dealing with

bilingual children, educational authorities often make the
assumption that “children have one mind, one conceptual
system and one language”.

• However, the reality is quite the contrary.

• Bilinguals arrive in the school setting with vastly different

levels of language proficiency. Some may speak only one
minority home language and some may speak a few
minority languages, none of which is a standard variety.
• Some may have a degree of proficiency in the school
language, while others may have proficiency in both the
school language and the home language.
• The degree of exposure to literacy also varies typically
from child to child.
• The Interdependent Hypothesis

• One of the major questions in biliteracy development

relates to the extent to which some components of literacy
are common to both languages.

• This is a crucial question which speaks to the issue of

literacy skills transfer across two language.
• The BICS-CALP Matrix
cognitively undemanding

Example: Example:
face to face telephone
context –embedded context-reduced
Example: Preparing Example: Preparing

cognitively demanding
• Cummins’s Interdependence hypothesis proposed CALP
(Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) is transferred
from one language to another.
• The hypothesis predicted that any increment in CALP in
one language would lead to an increment in CALP in the
other language and that this effect would be bidirectional.
• Hence, improvement in L1 reading and writing skills would
feed into the L2, and improvement in L2 skills would feel
into the L1.
• However, the correlation between languages that do not
share the same orthography (e.g Mandarin and English)
was significantly lower than for language pairs such as
Spanish and English.

• With the exception of languages which have different

orthographies, the empirical support for Cummin’s
Interdependence hypothesis that L1 learning facilitates L2
and vice versa, Cummins (1981) referred to this shared
knowledge base as Common Underlying Proficiency (CUP).
• The Prerequisites for Reading and Writing
• Bialystok et al. (2005) identify two reasons why literacy
development may be different for bilinguals when
compared to monolinguals.
– The first is the difference in the background of the
bilingual literacy skills, which developed differently
from those of monolinguals;
– The second is the possibility that skills acquired in one
language may be transferred to another.
• Bialystok et al. (2005) note three specific prerequisite skills
critical to literacy which may have developed as a result of
the different backgrounds of bilinguals. They are:
– Oral proficiency
– Metalinguistic awareness
– General cognitive development
• Oral proficiency has been widely reported to be associated
with children’s acquisition of literacy and is the most
common test used to diagnose literacy development.
• Several studies found bilinguals to be metalinguistically
more aware in certain tasks. That is, bilinguals were able
to analyze some levels of linguistic structure more

• The third skill concerns the way orthographies or script

type may influence the working memory by either
constraining or facilitating the transfer of information.
• Learning Two Different Scripts
• All over the world , children regularly learn how to write in
more than one script when they go to school.
• Based on their studies of bilingual pupils, Kenner et al.
(2004) concluded that bilingual children are able to
integrate two scripts into their early literacy experience
without confusion.
• Furthermore, Kenner (2004) reports that five-year-old
bilingual children in her study looked for connections
between the two scripts and exploited the similarities as
well as differences.
• She points out that this ability of bilingual and biliterate
children to use two graphemic systems as reference points
sets them apart from their monolingual peers.
• Implications

• Transference of skills across languages is evident in most

languages and, more importantly, there is evidence that
biliteracy in different scripts, if mastered, brings cognitive
effects such as enhanced learning of a third language
(Clyne et al. 2004)

• Swain et al (1990) also found evidence that literacy in one

language contributed to higher proficiency in the
immersion language of bilingual immigrant children in
their study of literacy attainment in immersion education.
• A critical implication of studies on biliteracy is that we can
teach literacy in one language via another language.
• As Clyne et al. (2004) point out:
– Once a child read one language, they do not need to
start from scratch to learn to read another language.
There are some component skills of literacy such as:
• Recognition of the structure of a word
• Recognition of the structure of the sentence
• Recognition of sound patterns possible in a
language and ability to manipulate structural
features of spoken language. Such recognition
leads to prediction.

• The findings are an indication that in developing the

literacy curriculum for language pairs with different script
systems and orthographies, educators should take into
account the types of challenges that children in these
groups may face.

• Educators could exploit languages with more transparent

writing systems by stepping up literacy input in that
language in the early years, since there is clear indication
that transfer does take place.

Topic 8
• The concept of the relationship between language and
culture came from the field of SOCIOLINGUISTICS.
• Very broadly, sociolinguistics is the study of language use in
society. Such study has two general directions of interest:
– Better understanding of SOCIETY & CULTURE through
examining the language used.
– Better understanding of LANGUAGE & ITS NATURE
through examining how cultures and societies use it.


• The Nature of Culture
• Teachers have a primary responsibility to help pass on
cultural knowledge through the schooling process.
• Question:
– Can teachers, who are the masters of the culture of
schooling, step outside this culture long enough to see
how it operates and to understand its effects on
culturally diverse students?

• A way to begin is to examine :

– What culture is,

– How culture affects perception,
– How geography affects culture,
– What differences occur naturally within cultural
groups, and

– How culture provides congruence.

• Definitions of Culture
• The term culture is used in many ways:
– It can refer to activities such as art, and ballet or items
such as pop music, mass media entertainment, and
comic books.
– It can be used for distinctive groups in society –
adolescents and their culture.
– It can be used as a general term for a society - the
“Filipino culture.”
Such uses do not, however, define what culture is. As a
field of study, culture is conceptualized in various

• The explicit and implicit patterns of behaviors, symbols,

and ideas that constitute the distinctive achievements of
human groups. (Kroeber and Kluckhohn, 1952)

• That complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art,

morals, law, custom, and many other capabilities acquired
by humans as members of society. (Tylor in Pearson, 1974)
Discrete behaviors , traditions, habits, or customs that are
shared and can be observed. (Spradley, 1972)

• The sum total of a way of life of a people; patterns

experienced by individuals as normal ways of acting,
feeling, and being. (Hall, 1959)
The means by which a community communicates… a
commonly agreed-upon set of meanings in interactions
with one another. (Steele, 1990)
• These definitions have common factors but vary in

• The important idea is that culture involves both observable

behaviors and intangibles such as beliefs and values,
rhythms, rules, and roles.
Culture is the filter through which people see the world.
• Too often, culture is incorporated into classroom activities
in superficial ways:
– As a group of artifacts (baskets, masks, distinctive
– Or celebrations of holidays (Christmas, New Year, etc),
– Or a list of traits and facts (Arabs are Moslem, Chinese
are clannish, Ilocanos are thrifty, etc)

Teachers who have a deeper view of culture and cultural

processes are able to use their understanding to move
beyond the superficial and to recognize that people live in
characteristic ways.

• They understand that the superficial (observable)

manifestations of culture are but one aspect of the cultural
web – the intricate pattern that weaves and binds a people
• For Vygotsky, learning is first and foremost CULTURAL
DEVELOPMENT: Here, ‘culture’ is taken in a very broad
sense, that is, to refer to any shared way of thinking or
doing things. So we can speak of an ethnic ‘culture’, such
as Chinese, Thai or Malay ‘culture’, or the ‘culture of a
country, but we can also speak of a ‘scientific culture’, to
refer to the typical ways in which scientists work and
Knowing that culture provides the lens (filter) through
which people view the world, teachers can look at the
“WHAT” of a culture (the observable) and ask “WHY.”
• Perceptions of Culture

• All cultures provide templates for the rituals of daily

interaction: the way the food is served, the way children
are spoken to, the way people’s needs are met.

• Some human needs are so fundamental that they are

provided for in all cultures.

• Thus, all cultures share some universal characteristics.

• The manner in which these needs are met differs across

cultures, and within a culture no two individuals view the
world in exactly the same way. Each may exhibit very
different personalities and behaviors and may vary in their
beliefs and values.
• What their culture does for them is to provide them with
an internalized way to organize and interpret experience.


• Cultural universalism
All human beings create culture. Members of a particular
culture tend to believe that their own ways are the best.

Culture influences how and what people see, hear, and feel,
and how people and events are evaluated.

• Each group responds in its own way to meet basic human

needs: food, shelter, clothing, family organization, defense,
arts and crafts, knowledge acquisition, and survival skills.

• Cultural influences help unify a society by providing a

common base of communication and common social

• The patterns that dominate a society form the

MACROCULTURE of that society.

• Individuals who grow up within a macroculture and never

leave it may assume that many of its values are universal.
• When encountering cultures of radically different beliefs,
they may be unable or unwilling to recognize that
alternative beliefs and behaviors are legitimate.
• The
Cultural relativism
fact that each culture possesses its own particular
traditions, values, and ideals means that the culture of a
society provides judgments that make any action right or
wrong for its members.

• Actions may only be judged in relation to the cultural

setting in which they occur.

• This point of view has been called:


For instance, knowledge about non-verbal behaviors like the

accepted distance between speakers (called proxemics),
different gestures, and different behaviors can expand the
horizons of students and can assist teachers in helping
their students to be more comfortable.
• Examples:
• Distance: in “high-contact” cultures (Arab, Latin American,
Greek), people usually stand close to each other.
• In “low-contact” cultures (Northern European, North
American), the comfort zone required is greater; people
stand farther apart. Violation of these proximics causes
• Gestures: every language/culture employs gestures and
body movements that convey meaning, and all cultures
have taboo topics and gestures.
• In New Zealand and Australia, for example, the US
hitchhiking signal is taboo.

• The OK gesture (open hand raised, thumb and forefinger

joined), is considered obscene in some Latin American
cultures, while in Japan it is a signal that asks for a change
(coins) (Simons, 1989).

• In Paraguay, signs with crossed fingers are offensive, but

crossing legs is permissible as long as the ankle does not
touch the knee (Morain, 1986).

• Behaviors: in Germany, people entering a row of seats in a

theater face those already seated in the row as they pass
in front of them.

• In Korea, making loud smacking and sucking sounds while

eating is a compliment to the host (Morain 1986).

• Other examples;

• Inandmany Asian and African countries, the roles of friend

critic are mutually exclusive; “constructive criticism” is
therefore viewed as bizarre.
• A teacher standing with hands on hips can be interpreted
as a hostile stance by an Indonesian.

• A teacher sitting on his /her desk may be seen as insulting

by a Japanese student.

Passing out papers with the left hand, rather than the right
may seem incredibly rude to some Arabic students.

• To touch a Thai student on the head is a major social


• Understanding the widely differing cultural views on time

and space, or about status and gender, for example,
promotes tolerance and acceptance of differences in the

• In Mexico, a party invitation for 8 pm may produce guests

by 9 or 10; if the invitation also indicates a time for
leaving, it is an insult to leave early.

• The question “Do you fish?” to a high-caste Indian can be

as offensive as “Do you steal?”. In India, people who fish
for a living generally belong to the low
fisherman caste, and many Brahmins are strict
vegetarians, for whom fish is taboo and distasteful (Nayar
• For the Masai, there is always enough time; their lives are
not governed by the clock, and they are never in a hurry
(Skow and Samovar, 1991)

• Hyland (2003) says that it is important to bear in mind that

educational practices are shaped by the cultures in which
they operate. The attitudes, approaches, and strategies
we encourage and reward in our classes might therefore
contrast and even conflict with those that are known and
valued by our students.
• This kind of “hidden curriculum” can be found in the
culturally divergent attitudes to knowledge that can
seriously interfere in our assessment of L2
students….Educational practices in Western contexts tend
to reinforce an analytical, questioning, and evaluative
stance to knowledge, encouraging students to criticize and
recombine existing sources to dispute traditional wisdom
and form their own points of view. It is knowledge

• Many Asian cultures, however, have a very different

perspective that favors conserving and reproducing
existing knowledge, establishing reverence for what is
known through strategies such as memorization and
imitation. But these strategies demonstrate respect for
knowledge, but may seem to writing teacher like
reproducing others’ ideas. In Bereiter and Scardemalia’s
terms, it is “knowledge telling” which represents immature
• In the areas of what constitutes “cheating” and
“plagiarism,” for example, Phyliss Kuehn et al (1990) found
that attitudinal and behavioral differences exist between
English native speakers and ESL students because of
different values in their respective cultures. In many Latin
and Arabic cultures, cooperation rather than competition
is stressed; students are encouraged to help each other
with assignments and even tests. An inexperienced
teacher may mistake the high value friend on friendship
and cooperation for the less worthy intention of cheating.

• Chinese students show respect for scholars by copying the

words of teachers and writers; the idea that US writers
“own” words and that copying is seen as stealing may
seem absolutely foreign to those students.

Kaplan (1966) illustrates the preferred patterns in different


• The illustration suggests that the thought pattern which

speakers and readers of English appear to expect as an
integral part of their communication is a sequence that is
dominantly linear in development.
• Some oriental writing is marked by what may be called an
approach by indirection. In this kind of writing, the
development may be said to be “turning and turning in a
widening gyre.” The circles turn around the subject but the
subject is never looked at directly.
• Such a development in a modern English paragraph would
strike the English reader as awkward and unnecessarily

• Widdowson (1990) refers to socially acquired knowledge

as “schematic knowledge”, which he puts together with
”systemic knowledge”, the knowledge of the formal
properties of language, involving both its schematic and
syntactic systems.
• In native language learning, the speaker’s schematic and
systemic knowledge go hand in hand, as they are said to
develop concurrently. EFL learning, however, is completely
different. EFL learners have already been socialised into
the schematic knowledge of their mother tongue, which
means they are initiated into their culture by dint of their
language learning.
• When students begin to learn a foreign language, they
undergo a substantive degree of conflict, a misfit between
the culture specific aspects of cognition and the native
language system (systemic knowledge). FL learning causes
learners’ schemata to be subjected to new cultural data
(text) whose organisation becomes difficult to achieve.

• Definition of College Education
College is an institution of an higher learning
that gives degrees. All of us needed culture and
education in life, if no education to us, we should to go
living hell.
One of the greatest causes that while other
animals have remained as they first man along has
made such rapid progress is has learned about
The improvement of the highest civilization is in
order to education up-to-date.
So college education is very important thing
which we don’t need mention about it.
• Attempting to impose “international” standards on diverse
peoples with different cultural traditions causes problems.
• That means that some cardinal values held by teachers are
not culture universals. For example, the value that
academic activities should be based on competition or that
children are expected to work on their own.

• Students who come from cooperative, group-conforming

cultures, where it is permissible and even desirable to
work together and where it is abhorrent to display
knowledge individually, may find themselves negatively
evaluated because of their different value system, not
because of any academic shortcomings.
• Physical Geography and Its Effects on Culture
• A social group must develop the knowledge, ideas, and
skills that it needs to survive in the kind of environment
the group inhabits.
• The geographical environment or physical habitat
challenges the group to adapt to or modify the world to
meet its needs.
• Classrooms constitute physical environments. These
environments have an associated culture.
• In a room in which the desks are in straight lines facing
forward, participants are enculturated to listen as
individuals and to respond when spoken to by the teacher.

• The physical environments in which learning takes place

vary widely from one culture to another.
• Intragroup Differences

• Even among individuals from the same general cultural

background, there are intragroup differences that affect
their world view.
• Cultural Congruence
• In classrooms, cultural content takes two forms:
– The explicit teaching of culture. There is a danger
there: if one studies the artifacts of another culture
without examining the patterns of the culture, one
might fail to understand that these patterns represent
responses to the physical environment that prompted
the need for those artifacts.
Cultures cannot be understood only by assembling a
collection of cultural artifacts.
– The second form of cultural component is implicit: the
actual cultures that occur daily in schools. In this
contact the congruence or thereof between the
mainstream and minority cultures has lasting effects
on students.

• A thoughtful teacher recognizes that the process of

intercultural contact is often a bumpy road.

• The meeting of two cultures may include some cultural

conflict which will not disappear if it is ignored.

• Relationships between individuals or groups of differing

cultures are built through commitment, a tolerance for
diversity, and a willingness to communicate.
• Cultural Contact

• We cannot know all things about all cultures, but it is

possible to understand what happens when cultures come
into contact with one another and how this contact can
affect schooling.
• Cultures:
– Can be swallowed up - - assimilation
– One culture may adapt to a second – acculturation
– Both may adapt to each other -- accommodation
– Or they may coexist -- pluralism or biculturalism
• When an individual comes in contact with another culture,
there are characteristic responses, usually stages, an
individual goes through in adapting to the new situation.
• Stages of Individual Cultural Contact:
– Experiencing a new culture causes emotional ups and
– Reactions to a new culture vary, but there are distinct
stages in the process of experiencing different culture
(Brown, 1967).
– The stages are characterized by typical emotions and
behaviors beginning with elation or excitement,
moving to anxiety or disorientation, and culminating
in some degree of adjustment.
• Since classrooms are a culture in themselves, these
emotional stages can occur for all students.
• The intensity will vary depending on the degree of
similarity between home and school culture, the individual
child, and the teacher.
• What are these stages?
– Euphoria. This may result from the excitement of
experiencing new customs, foods and sights. This may
be a “honeymoon” period in which the new comer is
fascinated and stimulated by experiencing a new
– Culture shock. Culture shock may follow euphoria as
cultural differences begin to intrude. The newcomer is
increasingly aware of being different and may be
disoriented by cultural cues that result in frustration.
The severity of shock may vary.
– Adaptation. Adaptation to a new culture may take
several months to several years. Ideally the newcomer
accepts some degree of routine in the new culture
with habits, customs, and characteristics borrowed
from the host culture. This results in a feeling of
comfort with friends and associates and the
newcomer feels capable of negotiating most new and
different situations.
– On the other hand, individuals who do not adjust as
well may feel lonely and frustrated.
• In the classroom, students can be experiencing the same
range of emotional and behavioral reactions to the school
culture. Some students may show this as withdrawal,
depression, or anger.
• Great care must be taken that the teacher does not belittle
or reject a student who has misunderstood or reacted in a
way different from the teacher’s expectations.
• Situations such as these only show the necessity for
cultural understanding.

• Contact between cultures is often not a benign process. It

may be fraught with issues of prejudice, discrimination,
and misunderstandings.

• Means of mediation or resolution must be found to

alleviate cultural conflict, particularly in classrooms.
• Manifestations of Culture: Learning about Students
• Knowledge about various cultural norms is critical in
multicultural situations.

• Teachers should not expect that they will be fully

knowledgeable about every cultural nuance, nor should
they be; but there are general patterns of behavior within
which all human societies operate.
• An understanding of the patterns will help teachers
understand the worlds of their students and help guide
students to an understanding of the cultural norms of
school life.
• Culture influences every aspect of school life.
• What Teachers Need to Learn about Their Students
• Any learning that takes place is built on previous learning.
Students have learned the basic patterns of living in the
context of their families. They have learned to value some
things and not others.

• They have learned the verbal and nonverbal behaviors

appropriate for their gender and age and have observed
their family members in various occupations and activities.
• The family has taught them about love, and relations
between friends, kin, and community members.
• They have observed community members cooperating to
learn in a variety of methods and modes.
• Their families have given them a feeling for music and art,
have shown them what is beautiful and what is not.
• Finally, they have learned to use language in the context of
their homes and communities.
• They have learned when questions can be asked and when
silence is required.
• They have used language to learn to share feelings and
knowledge and beliefs.
• Indeed, they are native speakers of the home language by
age of five, and can express their needs and delights.
• The culture that students bring from home is the
foundation for their learning.
• Cultures must be valued; all cultures provide an adequate
pattern of living for their members.
• Therefore, no children are “culturally deprived.”
• Certain communities may exist in relative poverty; that is,
they are not equipped with middle-class resources.
• Poverty, however, should not be equated with cultural
• Every community’s culture incorporates vast knowledge
about successful living.

Teachers can utilize the vast cultural knowledge to organize

students’ learning in schools.
So, what about your students do you need to learn?
• Values, Beliefs, and Practices

• Values are “what people regard as good or bad, beautiful

or ugly, clean or dirty … right or wrong, kind or cruel, just
and unjust, and appropriate or inappropriate” (Lustig,
• Values come to the fore when culture organize systems to
govern their members and regulate and manage social life.
• Values are particularly important to people when they
educate their young because education is a primary means
of transmitting cultural knowledge.
Parents in minority communities are often vitally interested
in their children’s education even though they may not be
highly visible at school functions.

• Values can not be seen, heard, or tasted but are

manifested in:

– Social customs
– Rituals and ceremonies
– Vital areas of life such as health, religion, and, and law,

– Ways of working and playing.

• All the influences that contribute to the cultural profile of
the family and community affect the students’ reaction to
classroom practices.
• Students whose home culture is consistent with the beliefs
and practices of the school are generally more successful in
• Teachers concerned about advancing the success of all
their students make every effort to understand that
various cultures organize the general facets of individual
and community behavior in radically different ways --
ways, that, on the surface may not seem compatible to
school practices and beliefs.
To understand these differences is to be able to mediate for
the students by helping them bridge relevant differences
between the home and the school cultures.

• Social customs and mores

–Social customs and mores dictate very different ways
of living daily life. These customs are paced and
structured by deep habits of using time and space.

• Time is organized in culturally specific ways.
• Conflicts may arise when teachers demand abrupt
endings to activities in which children are deeply
engaged or when events are sequenced in a strict
• Many teachers find themselves in the role of
“time mediator” – helping the class to adhere to
school’s time schedule while working with
individual students to help them meet their
learning needs within the time allotted.

Within the dimension of time, teachers can consider

these facets:
– How students have been taught to make use of their
– How students deal with punctuality in their culture
– What kinds of activities students perform quickly, and
which they do not
• Space

– Space is another aspect of cultural experience.

– Personal space varies. In some cultures individuals
touch each other frequently and maintain high
degrees of physical contact; in other cultures, touch
and proximity cause feelings of tension and
– A cultural sense of space influences the rooms in
which people feel comfortable.
Teachers can be sensitive to the following aspects of
– what personal distance students use in interacting
with other students and with adults
– How the culture determines the space allotted to boys
and girls
– How the spatial organization of the home compares to
that of the school

• Once a teacher has recognized that time and space are

culturally organized, then individual differences can be
more easily accommodated.

• Other symbolic systems, however, may involve more

subtle behaviors that have not been studied thoroughly.
These systems include overt indicators such as dress and
personal appearance.
• Some facets to consider in understanding symbolic systems
– How dress differs for age, gender, and social class
– What clothing and accessories are considered
– What behavior is called for during natural
phenomenon such as rain, lightning, thunder,
earthquakes, and fire

Rites, rituals, and ceremonies

– Each culture incorporates expectations of the proper
means to carry out formal events like holidays, births,
marriages, funerals, etc. Schools themselves have
• In considering how rituals affect the classroom, teachers
should think about the following:
– What rituals students use to show respect
– What celebrations students observe and for what
reason (political, seasonal, religious)
– How and where parents expect to be greeted when
visiting the classroom

• Roles and status (gender, social class age, occupation,

educational level)

–Cultures differ in the roles people play in society and

the status that is accorded to these roles.

• Family Socialization: The Structure of Daily Life

– Naming practices and forms of address

– Child-rearing practices
– Parental involvement
– Food preferences


• Sociolinguistics and its Relevance to the Language Teacher

• Very broadly, sociolinguistics is the study of language use
in society. Such study has two general directions of
– Better understanding of SOCIETY & CULTURE through
examining the language used.
– Better understanding of LANGUAGE & ITS NATURE
through examining how cultures and societies use it.




• Implications for the Language Teacher

• Sociolinguistics provides further insights into what needs
to be learnt or taught, as well as the motivations that
drive or impede language learning at the social level.
• Concerning what needs to be learnt or taught,
sociolinguistics emphasizes the need for language teachers
to help their students develop sociolinguistic competence.
Amongst other things, this involves the following:
• Dealing with variation: Learners need to develop an
awareness that there are different varieties of the
language they are learning – that different groups of
people or communities may use some of its words
differently, follow slightly different grammar conventions,
or observe different discourse routines.
• Also each person has an idiolect. In linguistics an idiolect
is a variety of a language unique to an individual. It is
manifested by patterns of vocabulary or idiom selection
(the individual’s lexicon), grammar or pronunciation that is
unique to the individual.
• Every individual’s language production is in some sense
• In a way a language is an ensemble of idiolects.
• Focusing on appropriacy: Linguistic accuracy, and even,
fluency, in the ‘standard’ vocabulary and grammar of the
language is not sufficient. Learners need to know how to
use the appropriate language or variety for each social
purpose and context of situation.
• Developing cultural competence: Being able to understand
and use a language or variety of a language involves
understanding the culture of its users. Hence, language
teaching needs to include building cultural knowledge as
• Apart from developing sociolinguistic competence,
sociolinguistics also suggests that the focus of a language-
teaching program should be on the functions and purposes
for which the learners need the language. The teaching of
grammar and vocabulary should consequently centre on
features that are needed for these functions. The genre-
based approaches in language teaching are founded to a
large extent on these premises.
• Brown (1980) provides a useful explanation which links
culture with thinking and language. He says”
– Cultural patterns, customs, and ways of life are
expressed in language: culture specific world views are
reflected in language…language and culture interact so
that views among cultures differ, and that language
used to express that world view may be relative and
specific to that view.

• Halliday (1978) defined language development as

sociological event, a semiotic encounter through which
meanings that constitute the social system are exchanged.

• If this social interactivity is transferred to learning settings

where a foreign language is used, then language, cultural
understanding, cognitive engagement and thinking are all
interconnected to the content and context of the lesson.
• If we follow the idea that culture determines the way we
interpret the world, and that we use language to express
this interpretation, then a learning context wherein a
foreign/second language like English is used, learners can
have experiences which they could not have in a
monolingual setting -- meaning, for example, that it
provides a rich catalyst for “living” intercultural
experiences which are fundamental to a deeper
understanding of global citizenship.
• In line with socio-cultural theorists such as Vygotsky and
Bakhtin, language, thinking and culture are constructed
through interaction.

• In first language settings, meanings and values are learned

alongside language development; that is, social interaction
is integral to deep learning.

• This means that language is not only part of how we define

culture, it reflects culture.
• Culture associated with language cannot be “learned” in a
few lessons about celebrations, folk songs, or costumes of
the area in which the language is spoken.
• Cultural awareness may focus on knowledge about
different cultures, but the move towards intercultural
understanding involves different experiences.

• Deep learning involves the critical analysis of new ideas,

connecting them to already-known concepts, and leads to
understanding and long-term retention of those concepts
so that they may be used for problem solving in unfamiliar

• Surface learning is the acceptance of information as

isolated and unlinked facts. It leads to superficial retention

• At a micro level, cultural understanding demands

meaningful interactivity in the classroom with peers,
teachers and resources in and through the vehicular

• At a macro level, extending social interaction beyond the

classroom is also essential if intercultural learning is to
consist of collaborative meaning-making. (Byram, 1989;
Donato, 1990).

• In essence, intercultural skills and understanding need to

be developed through interaction with a range of people in
a range of contexts, so that new situations enable learners
to adjust meaningfully in order to expand their own
• Intercultural dialogue involves using skills to mediate
between one’s own and other cultures.
• It starts with raising awareness about one’s own cultures,
including culturally learned attitudes and behaviors.
• It embraces the development of learners’ cultural
knowledge, skills and attitudes in interactive settings.
• In other words, to contribute to learners’ intercultural
understanding by developing:
– …an ability to see and manage the relationship
between themselves and their own cultural beliefs,
behaviors and meanings, as expressed in a foreign
language, and those of their interlocutors, expressed
in the same language -- or even a combination of
Byram, 1997

• The Knowledge Age

• Our world today is very different from the world of

Globalization has made the world interconnected in ways not
seen before. New technologies are facilitating the exchange of
information and knowledge. This, in turn, is driving the
integration of world economy and change in all spheres of our

The reality of life in a mixed global society is having an impact

on how to teach and what we teach .
In an integrated world, integrated learning is increasingly
viewed as a modern form of educational delivery designed to
even better equip the learner with knowledge and skills
suitable for the global age.
The mindset of Generation Y (generally those recognized as
born anywhere between 1982 and 2001) is particularly focused
on immediacy as in “learn as you use, use as you learn” – not
“learn now, use later.”
Those born into the Cyber Generation (born after 2001) will be
seen more influenced by our own early, personal, hand-on
experience with integrated technologies.
These are the generations now in classrooms across the world.
We are now in what is known as the :

Knowledge Age


• From Cultural Awareness to Intercultural Understanding

• Interconnectedness between the

strengthens when links between
elements of CLIL
language, cognitive
processing, and culture are explored.
• Integrating Content, Culture and Language Learning: A
Holistic View
• As Crandall (1994) states:
– Students cannot develop academic knowledge and
skills without access to the language in which that
knowledge is embedded, discussed, constructed, or
evaluated. Nor can they acquire academic language
skills in a context devoid of (academic) content.

• Teachers need to be aware of:

–The linguistic processes by which their pupils acquire

information and understanding, and the implications
for the teacher’s own use of language.

• It is based on the common underlying principle that

successful language learning occurs when students are
presented with target language material in a:

• meaningful,

• contextualized form,

• with the primary focus on acquiring information and

– Content becomes the organizing principle;
– And the language structures, vocabulary, and
functions are selected by the teacher that are both
necessary for the content and that are compatible
with it.

• This contextualizes language learning for students and

focuses the learner’s attention on meaning.

• CLIL approaches “… view the target language as the vehicle

through which subject matter content is learned rather
than as the immediate object of study.” (Brinton, et al.,

• “When the learner’s second language is both the object

and the medium of instruction, the content of each lesson
must be taught simultaneously with linguistic skills
necessary for understanding it.” (Cantoni-Harvey, 1987)
• Swales (1986) says:
– “in order to make sense of written language ACROSS
the curriculum, we need to understand as best as we
can the language OF the curriculum. If we can do that,
we can consider how the language lecturer can best
assist in providing language FOR the curriculum.
• Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) vs.
Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)
• These terms, BICS and CALP, are commonly used in
discussion of bilingual education and arise from the early
work of Cummins (1984).
• BICS describes the development of conversational fluency
(Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills), whereas CALP
describes the use of language in decontextualized
academic situations (Cognitive Academic Language
• The BICS-CALP Matrix
cognitively undemanding

Example: Example:
face to face telephone
context –embedded context-reduced
Example: Preparing Example: Preparing

cognitively demanding
• Jim Cummins also advances the theory that there is a

• Skills, ideas and concepts students learn in their first

language will be transferred to the second language
(linguistic interdependence).

In his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paolo Freiere (1993),
distinguishes between two types of education:

The banking concept of education in which the students are

the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of
communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes
deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and
And libertarian education wherein education begins with the
solution of the teacher-student contradiction by reconciling
the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously
teachers and students.

“Your role as a teacher is even more important than you might

imagine. You have the power to help people become
Ken Blanchard