Discussion: Bilingualism and Multilingualism

Resources for this week discussion;

Gleason, J. B., & Ratner, N. B. (2017). The development of language (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

· Chapter 11, “Bilingual Language Development” (pp. 285–307)

Abutalebi, J., & Clahsen, H. (2015). Bilingualism, cognition, and aging. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 18(1), 1–2. doi:10.1017/S1366728914000741.

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Gardner, H. (2006). In a nutshell. In Multiple intelligences (pp. 3–24). New York, NY: Basic Books.

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Peal, E., & Lambert, W. E. (1962). The relation of bilingualism to intelligence. Psychological Monographs: General and Applied, 76(27), 1–23. doi:10.1037/h0093840

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Optional Resources

Bhatia, T. K., & Ritchie, W. C. (Eds.). (2013). The handbook of bilingualism and multilingualism (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons.

Note:This book is provided as a suggested resource for the week. You will access it via the Walden Library databases.

Klein, R. M. (2015). Is there a benefit of bilingualism for executive functioning? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 18(1), 29–31. doi:10.1017/S1366728914000613

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Sampath, K. K. (2005). Effect of bilingualism on intelligence. In Proceedings of the 4th Inter. J. Cohen, K. T. McAlister, K. Rolstad, & J. MacSwan (Eds.) (pp. 2048–2056). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. Retrieved from http://www.lingref.com/isb/4/159ISB4.PDF

Discussion: Bilingualism and Multilingualism

If you were given an intelligence test in a language you did not know well, how do you think you would perform? Unfortunately, early 20th-century research on bilingualism was often based on biased evidence from assessments such as this, leading researchers to conclude that bilingualism was cognitively harmful. Fortunately, other research since that time has more carefully protected against bias and accounted for variables (e.g., socioeconomic background) that could influence research outcomes. Newer evidence, in fact, suggests there may be many cognitive benefits to bi- or multilingualism, in addition to the social and cultural richness that it affords.

From a practical perspective, it is not possible nor would it even be preferable for citizens of most countries to learn a large number of languages. Thus, educational planning decisions must be made, which often are based on a combination of public opinion, politics, financial resources, and research data. Some states in the United States have laws that declare that public education must be conducted in the English language. Other states have two-way immersion programs (where native English-speaking children and children from another language background learn each other’s languages, with the goal of bilingualism for all) or international schools with various languages of instruction.

Your goal for this Discussion is not to become an expert in education models, but rather to consider bilingualism and/or multilingualism from a cognitive perspective. Imagine that you have been asked to present information regarding this topic to your local legislature to inform education policy from a psychological perspective. What are the research findings that you would present?

To prepare:

· Search the Walden Library or other reputable academic sources and select at least two articles besides those listed in the Learning Resources related to the cognitive benefits of being bilingual or multilingual.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post an explanation of two or three research findings related to bilingualism or multilingualism that you believe the legislature should take into consideration and why. Include discussion about how multilingualism positively influences intelligence. Provide specific examples and use the articles you found to support your position.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources. Use proper APA format and citations.

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