This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The Importance of Language, Memory and Bilingualism in Language Acquisition
Isa Spahiu& Ph(& )ildira* +e,i-& Ph( International .al-an /ni,ersit*& S-op0e& 1acedonia i.spahiu2*ahoo.com& ce,i-*ildira*2*ahoo.com Abstract 3he process o4 learning to speak (language is one o4 the most important things o4 earl* childhood. 5ithin some months& children mo,e 4rom sa*ing single words to longer sentences and 4rom a small ,oca6ular* to one that grows 6* si7 new words per da*. 8anguage is our main& principal mean o4 communication. 8anguage tools mean a lot& new opportunities 4or social understanding& 4or learning a6out the world& and 4or sharing e7periences& needs and pleasures. $n the other hand& in order to understand how we learn& it is 4irst necessar* to understand something a6out how do we thin-. 5ithout a good memory language learning would simpl* 6e impossi6le and as a result humans de,elopment as well. 1emor* is undou6tedl* one o4 the most important concepts in remem6ering things& in learning& 6ecause& simpl*& i4 things are not remem6ered& learning cannot ta-e place. Keywords: memor*& 6ilingualism& language ac9uisition& 81& and 82. Introduction Human 6eings inherit the a6ilit* to spea-& 6ut the* do not inherit the a6ilit* to spea- a particular language. 3hus& a child learns to spea- the language o4 those who 6ring it up 4rom in4anc* that in most o4 cases are his:her own parents. .ut we are all aware that one;s 4irst language is ac9uired 4rom the en,ironment and 4rom learning. 3he learning o4 a second language is 9uite a di44erent matter. <7cept in case where the child;s parents are 6ilingual& or 4rom di44erent linguistic 6ac-grounds& learning a second language 6ecomes a deli6erate or imposed acti,it* on the child 6* social& political or religious 4actors acting upon him. 3hus& generall*& the person who is a6le to 3here are no sources in the current document Spea- two languages li-e =l6anian and 1acedonian is said to 6e 6ilingual. ! Language 1.1 What is language? 3he main -e* 4actor o4 human de,elopmental process that distinguishes (sets apart human 6eings 4rom animals is undou6tedl* language. It is in 4act a ,er* 6road term to discuss. 3hrough language in a wa* we re4lect oursel,es& and that;s one o4 the reasons wh* it is ,er* important and essential in e,er* aspect o4 our li,es. In other words& language somehow shapes our thoughts and emotions and determines our perception o4 realit*. It has 6ecome a ma0or tool o4 communication 6etween di44erent countries& groups& cultures& ,arious companies and organi>ations& communities and 4riends. =s we all -now& we use language to communicate with each other& to e7press our 4eelings& to as- something& to e7press our thoughts and stu44 li-e that. 3he importance and signi4icance o4 language in humans? li,es is enormousl* high. It is not limited to 0ust 6eing a means through which we communicate our thoughts and 4eelings to others& 6ut has also 6ecome a tool 4or multiculturalism as well as economic relationships. In the de,elopmental process o4 a child& language pla*s a ,er* signi4icant role as it is connected with ,arious aspects o4 a children;s growth. 5e are all aware that a 6a6* is 6orn without language& 6ut e,en without a special or 4ormal training& 6* the age o4 4our-4i,e& the child is a6le to sa* se,eral words and grammar o4 a particular language. 3his is an inherited human a6ilit* (tendenc* & which is ,er* important 4or children;s 4urther growth. =n* discrepanc* noticed in learning a language at such an earl* stage ma* indicate certain illnesses in a child. 1.2 Language acquisition and its importance in human development 3he process o4 learning a particular language is directl* related to a -ind o4 emotional de,elopment. (@arcia 1& 2''7 . Aor e7ample& a 6a6* loo-ing at his:her parent;s 4ace is responded 6* cooing and some words indicating lo,e 6* his:her parents. 3his is recorded in the 6a6*;s mind and when he 6ecomes older& he 6egins to use language in order to e7press his emotions:4eelings as well. 3here ha,e 6een made se,eral studies and researches regarding the importance o4 language in the de,elopment o4 human 6eings& what -ind o4 role pla*s the same in our li,es& and e7cept the Btheor*C o4 6eing used as the main tool o4 communication 6etween people& wh* and how do we use it. 1. People ma* use language to induce an action in other people. (@ardner& H& 19!7 . .ut what does this meanD 3he 6est instance would include a child as-ing his:her parent to hand him or her a to* that somewhere high and he:she cannot touch and ta-e himsel4:hersel4 or a teacher as-ing his:her students to hand him the tests.
Research on Humanities and Social Sciences ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper ISSN 2222-2!"# ($nline %ol.#& No.17& 2'1#
8anguage is also used as a tool by one person to help that particular person remember things. 3hus& language somehow e7pands the cogniti,e a6ilities that are alread* present in human 6rain. Aor instance& a child might not 6e a6le to remem6er how man* da*s a wee- has& 6ut 6* learning the rh*me o4 a short poem concerning the da*s o4 the wee-& he:she will easil* 6e a6le to store those 4acts in the memor*. #. =nother use o4 language might in,ol,e the transfer of information, experience or knowledge from one individual to another. (@ardner& H& 19!7 . Aor instance& a parent teaching his child how to wear his pants and the teacher gi,ing a lecture on a particular topic are 6oth using a language to share their -nowledge:in4ormation with another indi,idualD It is this -ind o4 use o4 language that ma* lead to cultural e,olution. E. 3he 4ourth use o4 language is to discuss a6out that particular language itsel4& or in other words to use language to reflect upon language. (@ardner& H& 19!7 . = good e7ample in this case would 6e a child as-ing his mother what the word FwantF means and a linguist e7amining the s*ntactic rules o4 ,arious languages. =ccording to @ardner& this -ind o4 use o4 language is also called Fmetalinguistic anal*sisC. @ardner ac-nowledges the wide ,ariet* o4 wa*s in which we use language& 6ut he 6elie,es that the* all 4it into one o4 these 4our categories. =nother well -nown linguist who discussed the use o4 language in more general terms than @ardner is Andy Clark. In his 6oo- entitled B.eing 3hereG Putting .rain& .od*& and 5orld 3ogether =gainC& =nd* +lar- agrees that language is not onl* a tool 4or communicating thoughts or ideas. =ccording to him& language is also a tool that was created 4or use 6* humans& 0ust as is a pair o4 scissors. FHust as scissors ena6le us to e7ploit our 6asic manipulati,e capacities to 4ul4il new ends& language ena6les us to e7ploit our 6asic cogniti,e capacities o4 pattern recognition and trans4ormation in wa*s that reach out to new 6eha,ioural and intellectual hori>onsF (19#19E . 3his means that& scissors ha,e the manipulating a6ilities o4 people hands and use them to produce a s-ill that normall* could not 6e accomplished 6* a human 6eingG in other words& cutting a 4airl* straight line with a piece o4 paper. 8i-e these scissors& language ta-es human a6ilities that alread* e7ist-this time we ha,e to deal with cogniti,e rather than manipulati,e in nature& and e7pounds upon these in order to gi,e this human a com6ination a6ilities that were not achie,a6le 6* the indi,idual (or the tool alone (+lar- 19#-19E . Howe,er& there is a general agreement on the importance o4 language in indi,iduals; cognition& and e,en in the multiple wa*s we use this necessar* s-ill. 3he uni9ue a6ilit* to use language sets human 6eings apart 4rom animals& at least partl*& 4or the uni9ueness o4 human cogniti,e pro4ile. 5e would de4initel* 6e a ,er* di44erent species i4 it wasn;t 4or this BawesomeC s-ill. 1.3 Human language and its uniqueness What makes us consider human language unique? 8anguage is in 4act uni9ue in comparison to other 4orms o4 communication& such as the ones used 6* animals. +ommunication s*stems used 6* other animals or other non-human 6eings are called closed s*stems that consist o4 a closed num6er o4 possi6le things that can 6e e7pressed. In contrast& human language is open and producti,e s*stem& meaning that it allows people to produce an in4inite set o4 utterances 4rom a 4inite set o4 elements& and to create new words and sentences. 5e can do this 6ecause human language is 6ased on a dual code& (Sados-i 1. I Pai,io =& 2''1 where a 4inite num6er o4 meaningless elements (e.g. sounds& letters or gestures can 6e com6ined to 4orm units o4 meaning (words and sentences . 1oreo,er& the s*m6ols and grammatical rules o4 a particular language are ar6itrar*& which means that the s*stem ma* 6e ac9uired onl* through social interaction. $n the other hand& s*stems o4 communication used 6* animals& can onl* e7press a 4inite num6er o4 utterances that are geneticall* transmitted. 5hile some animals might learn a 6ig num6er o4 words and s*m6ols& none o4 them would a6le to learn as man* di44erent signs as generall* a E *ear old child -nows& nor will an* animal learn an*thing li-e the comple7 grammar a human 6eing spea-s:-nows. Human language also di44ers 4rom animal communication s*stems in that the* emplo* grammatical and semantic categories such as noun and ,er6& or present& past& and 4uture to e7press comple7 meanings. Regarding the meaning that it ma* con,e* and the cogniti,e operations that it 6uilds on& human language is considered also uni9ue 4or the 4act that it is able to refer to abstract concepts and to imaginary events& as well as e,ents that too- place in the past or ma* happen in the 4uture. 3his a6ilit* o4 re4erring to e,ents that do not occur at the time or place as the speech e,ent& is called displacement& (+ha4e 5& 199E and while some animal communication s*stems can use displacement (such as the communication o4 6ees that can communicate the location o4 sources o4 nectar that are out o4 sight & the degree to which it is used in human language is also considered uni9ue. 1.4 Which are the main factors that influence language development? In general terms& the two main (6asic 4actors that somehow in4luence language de,elopment are 6iological and en,ironmental ones. (3ra7cler 1.H& 2'12 . In each o4 these primar* categories& there are se,eral 4actors that do
Research on Humanities and Social Sciences ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper ISSN 2222-2!"# ($nline %ol.#& No.17& 2'1#
gi,e their contri6ution to the de,elopment o4 a language. Basic iological factor In the 6iological categor*& man* researchers claim that children are 6orn with a -ind o4 6iological means (de,ice that ena6les them to understand the principles o4 a language. In other words& this means that language is programmed into the human 6rain. In this conte7t& language de,elopment happens innatel* and is not in4luenced 6* other 4actors. !enetic +hildren (or in general people who geneticall* ha,e certain mental or ph*sical disorders& ha,e o6stacles which directl* in4luence their language de,elopment. (3ra7cler 1.H& (2'12 . Aor instance& children 4acing pro6lems with their hearing& the* will directl* ha,e pro6lems with the pronunciation o4 particular words. In this -ind o4 4actor& we ha,e also emotional and 6eha,ioral pro6lems such as depression or an7iet* which in4luence the language de,elopment o4 some people. "#posure and $timulation 1an* studies ha,e come to a conclusion that children who are e7posed to more ,oca6ular* and more comple7 grammatical structures de,elop 4aster their language then the others. In this point& stimulating acti,ities and wor-shops that ha,e to do with language also seem to in4luence language de,elopment. %pportunities for usage Some other researches thin- that the use o4 language is a more in4luential 4actor compared to 6iological one or e7posure. 3heir ,iews might 6e initiated 4rom the 4act that children who are listened to and prompted with stimulating 9uestions to spea- o4ten de,elop their own language s-ills 4aster than those that do not use language so o4ten. = good e7ample in this case would 6e the 6a6* o4 a 4amil* who seldom needs to spea- as his:her own older si6lings spea- 4or them. 3his in4luences language de,elopment a lot and o4ten dela*s the natural de,elopment o4 children. " Memory 2.1 &efinition $ne crucial and ,er* important 4actor in language learning and human de,elopment is memory. In order to understand how we learn& it is 4irst necessar* to understand something a6out how do we thin-. Intelligence is considered as 6eing 4undamentall* memor*-6ased process. 8earning on the other hand means the d*namic modi4ication o4 memor*. 3he term memory re4ers to a set o4 cogniti,e a6ilities through which we o6tain in4ormation and reassem6le mentall* past e7periences. (Kellogg R.3& 2''# . It is in 4act li-e a source o4 -nowledge and at the same time a -e* aspect o4 personal identit*. 5ithout a good memor* language learning would simpl* 6e impossi6le and as a result& one?s de,elopment as well. 1emor* is undou6tedl* one o4 the most important concepts in remem6ering things& in learning& 6ecause& simpl*& i4 things are not remem6ered& learning cannot ta-e place at all. 1emor* ma* also 6e anal*sed as an important part o4 what -eeps societ* together& what shapes our culture& and what shapes us as indi,iduals. <,er*thing human 6eings -now is part o4 our memor*G all our past e7periences& all we ha,e done. 2.2 '(pes of memor( 1emor* is the term gi,en to those structures and processes that are in,ol,ed in the storage and su6se9uent retrie,al in4ormation. It is essential to all our li,es. 5ithout a memor* o4 the past& we cannot operate in the present or thin- a6out the 4uture. In a ps*chologist point o4 ,iew& the term memor* co,ers three important aspects o4 in4ormation processingG (Kellogg R.3& 2''# . • <ncoding • Storage • Retrie,al #ncoding and Memory 5hen particular in4ormation comes into our memor* s*stem& it needs indeed to 6e changed into such a 4orm that our s*stem can cope with& and in this wa* the same ma* 6e stored. Aor e7ample the case o4 e7changing mone* into a di44erent currenc* when one tra,els 4rom one countr* to another. $r the case where a word which is seen (on the 6lac-6oard might 6e stored i4 it is changed (encoded into a sound or a meaning (semantic point o4 ,iew . 3here are three main wa*s in which in4ormation can 6e encoded (changed G ! $isual way %through pictures& " Acoustic one %sounds& ' (emantic %through meaning& "J
Research on Humanities and Social Sciences ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper ISSN 2222-2!"# ($nline %ol.#& No.17& 2'1#
Aor instance& how people remem6er a telephone num6er the* ha,e loo-ed up in the phone 6oo-D I4 *ou see it then *ou are using ,isual coding& 6ut i4 *ou are repeating it to *oursel4 *ou are using acoustic coding (6* sound . 8iterature suggests that this is the so called principle coding s*stem in short term memor* (S31 is acoustic coding. (Kellogg R.3& 2''# . 3he case where a person is presented with a list o4 num6ers and letters& he:she will tr* to hold them in S31 6* rehearsing them (,er6all*& o4 course . Rehearsal is considered as a ,er6al process regardless o4 whether the list o4 items is gi,en or presented acousticall* (someone reads them out & or ,isuall* (on a list or paper . 3he so called principle encoding s*stem in long term memor* (831 appears to 6e semantic coding (meaning . (Kellogg R.3& 2''# . Howe,er& in4ormation in 831 can also 6e coded 6oth ,isuall* and acousticall*. Storage and 1emor* 3his aspect o4 in4ormation processing concerns the nature o4 memor* stores& in other words where the particular in4ormation is stored& how long the memor* lasts 4or (its duration & how much can 6e stored at an* time (the capacit* and what -ind o4 in4ormation do we held. 3he wa* how we store in4ormation a44ects the wa* how we retrie,e the same. 3here has 6een a signi4icant amount o4 research regarding the di44erences 6etween Short 3erm 1emor* (S31 and 8ong 3erm 1emor* (831 . 1ost o4 adults ma* store J to 9 things (items in their short-term memor*.(1iller 17J-17" . 1iller put this idea 4orward and he called it the magic num6er 7. He though that short-term memor* capacit* was 7 (plus or minus 2 items 6ecause it onl* had a certain num6er o4 BslotsC in which items could 6e stored. Howe,er& 1iller didn;t speci4* the amount o4 in4ormation that can 6e held in each slot. Indeed& i4 we can Bchun-C in4ormation together we can store a lot more in4ormation in our short-term memor*. In contrast the capacit* o4 831 is thought to 6e unlimited. In4ormation can onl* 6e stored 4or a 6rie4 duration in S31 ('-#' seconds & 6ut 831 can last a li4etime. )etrie*al and Memory 3his re4ers to getting in4ormation out storage. I4 we can;t remem6er something& it ma* 6e 6ecause we are una6le to retrie,e it. 5hen we are as-ed to retrie,e something 4rom memor*& the di44erences 6etween S31 and 831 6ecome ,er* clear. (TM is stored and retrie*ed sequentially. (Kellogg R.3& 2''# . Aor e7ample& i4 a group o4 participants are gi,en a list o4 words to remem6er& and then as-ed to recall the 4ourth word on the list& participants go through the list in the order the* heard it in order to retrie,e the in4ormation. LTM is stored and retrie*ed by association. (Kellogg R.3& 2''# . 3his is wh* *ou can remem6er what *ou went upstairs 4or i4 *ou go 6ac- to the room where *ou 4irst thought a6out it. $rgani>ing in4ormation can help aid retrie,al. )ou can organi>e in4ormation in se9uences (such as alpha6eticall*& 6* si>e or 6* time . Imagine a patient 6eing discharged 4orm hospital whose treatment in,ol,ed ta-ing ,arious pills at ,arious times& changing their dressing and doing e7ercises. I4 the doctor gi,es these instructions in the order which the* must 6e carried out throughout the da* (in se9uence o4 time & this will help the patient remem6er them. = num6er o4 theories o4 memor* are 6ased on the assumption that there are three -inds o4 memor*G sensory memory, short-term memory and long-term one. (Pastorino <.<. 2'1' . Sensory memory is a storage s*stem that holds in4ormation in a relati,el* unprocessed 4orm 4or 4ractions o4 a second a4ter the ph*sical stimulus is no longer a,aila6le. It has 6een suggested (e.g. .addele*&19!! that one 4unction o4 this -ind o4 storage is to allow in4ormation 4rom successi,e e*e-4i7ations to last 4or a long enough time to 6e integrated and so to gi,e continuit* to our ,isual en,ironment. Aor e7ample& i4 *ou mo,e a lighted spar-ler rapidl* round in a sweeping arc& *ou will LseeL a circle o4 spar-ling light. 3his is 6ecause the trace 4rom the point o4 the spar-ler is momentaril* le4t 6ehind. Howe,er& i4 *ou mo,e the spar-ler slowl*& onl* a partial circle will 6e seen 6ecause the 4irst part o4 the circum4erence will ha,e laded 6* the time the spar-ler gets 6acto its starting point. Similarl*& i4 *ou watch a 4ilm& *our conscious e7perience is o4 a continuous ,isual scene in which all o4 the action appears to 6e mo,ing smoothl*. In 4act& the 4ilm is actuall* 6eing presented as a rapid series o4 4ro>en images interspersed 6* 4leeting moments o4 dar-ness. In order to ma-e sense o4 it& *our sensor* store has to hold the in4ormation 4rom one 4rame o4 4ilm until the ne7t is presented. 3hese e,er*da* e7amples seem to suggest that we are capa6le o4 storing ,isual images 4or ,er* 6rie4 periods. It is assumed that we ha,e separate sensor* stores 4or all the senses. Short-term memory (S31 is a s*stem 4or storing in4ormation 4or 6rie4 periods o4 time. Some researchers (e.g. =t-inson and Shi44rin& 19"! see S31 simpl* as a temporar* storage depot 4or incoming in4ormation. ' Bilingualism 3.1. What is ilingualism? =ccording to M3he Aree (ictionar*; 6* Aarle7& 6ilingualism isG
3he a6ilit* to spea- two languages 3he use o4 two languages =ccording to %alde> I Aigueora (199E & in its simplest 4orm& 6ilingualism is de4ined as M-nowing; two languages. Still& the term M-nowing; is contro,ersial 6ecause some 6ilinguals ma* 6e pro4icient in 6oth languages while the others ma* ha,e a dominant or pre4erred language. Researchers suggest that nati,e-li-e pro4icienc* in 6oth languages& re4erred to as BtrueC 6ilingualism& is rare. (@ros0ean& 19!2 . @enerall*& the person who is a6le to spea- two languages& li-e =l6anian and 1acedonian& or +hinese and Hapanese& is called bilingual. Nowada*s we can 4ind 6ilinguals in e,er* corner 6ecause o4 di44erent 4actors in4luencing 6ilingualism. .ut& when a person is trul* a 6ilingualD 3here are people who can write and read a second language 4luentl* 6ut cannot communicate in that language. $n the other hand there are some others that can communicate in a second language 4luentl* 6ut are not a6le to use its written mode. =ll this issue represents a comple7 matter in 6ilingualism as a result o4 language which can 6e ac9uired through a ,ariet* o4 modalities li-eG sound (speech & ,isual motion (signs and sight (writing . +onse9uentl*& we can sa* that a person is 6ilingual i4 he or she -nows (1 two languages in the same modalit*& 4or e7ample& two speech-6ased languages such as spo-en <nglish and spo-en @erman& or& two sign-6ased languages such as =merican Sign 8anguage and Hapanese Sign 8anguage& or (2 two languages 6ased on di44erent modalities& e.g. spo-en @erman and =merican Sign 8anguage& or& spo-en Arench and written Sans-rit. (Stein6erg& (.(. I Sciarini& N.%. 2''" . 3.2. Ho) do people ecome ilingual? People ma* 6ecome 6ilingual either 6* learning a second language a4ter ac9uiring the 4irst language or 6* ac9uiring two languages at the same time in childhood. = lot o4 6ilingual people grow up spea-ing two languages. .est e7ample 4or this would 6e the children o4 =l6anian immigrants though out <urope or e,en in =merica. $4ten these children grow up spea-ing their parents; nati,e language (respecti,el* =l6anian in their childhood home while spea-ing @erman or <nglish (depending on the countr* where the* ha,e migrated at school. $n the other hand& man* 6ilinguals are not immigrantsN teachers o4 an* 4oreign language in 1acedonia& including <nglish o4 course& would 6e a suita6le e7ample 4or this one. It is not uncommon 4or us (teachers to spea- <nglish at school or wor- and another language& in this case =l6anian& at home. +hildren can also 6ecome 6ilingual i4 their parents spea- more than one language to them& or some other important people in their li4eN such as grandparents or 6a6*sitters& who spea- to them consistentl* in another language. Semi-3ur-ish 4amilies in our regions would represent this case 6etter& when the grandparents spea- to their grandchildren in 3ur-ish& while the* are taught =l6anian 6* their parents and educated =l6anian at school. 3here are cases when children are grown up in 4amilies in which each parent spea-s a di44erent languageN meaning that one-parent one-language strategy is used. In that case& the children ma* learn to spea- to each parent in that parents; language. Aor e7ample& i4 child;s 4ather is an =l6anian& he will spea- to the child in =l6anianN conse9uentl* the child will communicate with the 4ather onl* in =l6anian. I4 child;s mother is 1acedonian& she will spea- to the child onl* in 1acedonianN conse9uentl* the child will communicate with his or her mother in 1acedonian. Interesting is the 4act that the child will almost ne,er mi7 the two e7posed languages with 6oth o4 parents. Shortl*& a *oung child who is regularl* e7posed to two languages 4rom an earl* age will most pro6a6l* 6ecome a 4luent nati,e spea-er o4 6oth languages. 3he e7posure must in,ol,e interactionN a child growing up in an =l6anian-spea-ing 4amil* who is e7posed to 3ur-ish onl* through 3ur-ish-language tele,ision won;t 6ecome a 3ur-ish O =l6anian 6ilingual& 6ut a child who is regularl* spo-en to 6oth in =l6anian and 3ur-ish will. It is also possi6le to learn a second language some time a4ter earl* childhood& 6ut the older *ou getN the harder it is to learn to spea- a new language as well as a nati,e spea-er. 8inguists 6elie,e there is a Mcritical period; (Krashen& S. (. 197J (lasting roughl* 4rom 6irth until pu6ert* during which a child can easil* ac9uire an* language that he or she is regularl* e7posed to. /nder this ,iew& the structure o4 the 6rain changes at pu6ert*& and a4ter that it 6ecomes harder to learn a new language. 3his means that it is much easier to learn a second language during childhood than as an adult. 3.3. *s it hard for a child to acquire t)o languages at once? 3here is no e,idence to suggest that it is easier 4or a child to ac9uire one language than to ac9uire two languages. =s long as people are regularl* spea-ing with the child in 6oth languages& the child will ac9uire them 6oth easil*. = child doesn;t ha,e to 6e a genius or ha,e an* e7tra - ordinar* language a6ilit* to 6ecome a 6ilingualN as long as the child is e7posed to two languages throughout earl* childhood& he or she will ac9uire them 6oth. Some people are concerned with the child;s process o4 learning more than one language at a time. 3he* thin- that this process is 6ad 4or the child& 6ut according to some linguists nothing could 6e 4urther 4rom the truth. =ctuall*& there are a lot o4 ad,antages to -nowing more than one language. Airstl*& man* linguists consider that -nowing a second language in 4act is 6ene4icial 4or the child;s cogniti,e de,elopment. Secondl*& i4 the child comes 4rom a 4amil* that has recentl* immigrated to a Mnew; countr* the 4amil* ma* spea- a language other than
the language o4 that countr* at home and ma* still ha,e strong ties to their ethnic roots. Aor e7ample& =l6anians that ha,e immigrated to @erman* undou6tedl* use =l6anian in e,er*da* communication 6ecause o4 their origin and identit*& 6ut the* 4or sure use @erman at school and at wor-. In this case& the child 6eing a6le to spea- the language o4 the 4amil* national con,ention ma* 6e important 4or his or hers sense o4 cultural identit*. 3o not 6e a6le to spea- the 4amil*;s language could ma-e a child su44er in4eriorit* and wea-ness with his or her own 4amil*N spea-ing the 4amil*;s language gi,es the child a sense o4 identit* and 6elonging. 3hirdl*& in an increasingl* glo6al mar-etplace& it is a 6ene4it 4or an*one to -now more than one languageN = 8ingua Aranca is alwa*s needed. =nd 4inall*& 4or people o4 an* age or pro4ession& -nowing a second language encourages their cross O cultural awareness and understanding. 3.4. Levels of ilingualism In a sociolinguistic point o4 ,iew& 6ilingualism can 6e understood on two le,elsG individual and societal. (+eno>& 8. I Hessner& /& 2'1' (iscussions a6out indi,idual 6ilingualism use the indi,idual person as a re4erence point and usuall* 4ocus on characteristics such as age o4 ac9uisition& le,el o4 attainment& language dominance& and a6ilit*. $4ten& these characteristics are largel* remo,ed 4rom their 6roader social conte7t and do not ta-e the terminolog* communit* into account. MSocietal 6ilingualism; (5oda-& R&. Hohnstone& .. I Kerswill& P. 2'11 is a 6road term used to re4er to an* -ind o4 6ilingualism or multilingualism at a le,el o4 social organi>ation 6e*ond the indi,idual or nuclear 4amil*. .* this de4inition& almost e,er* countr* o4 the world has some le,el o4 Msocietal 6ilingualism;. Societal 6ilingualism 6* no means implies that e,er* indi,idual in the societ* in 9uestion is 6ilingual. =s Romaine points out (2''J & M6ilingual indi,iduals ma* 6elong to communities o4 ,arious si>es and t*pes& and the* interact in man* -inds o4 networ-s within communities& not all o4 which ma* 4unction 6ilinguall*;. =n e7ample o4 societal 6ilingualism is the accessi6ilit* o4 newspapers and other print media in more than one language In man* countries nearl* e,er*6od* is 6ilingual or multilingual. In parts o4 India 4or e7ample& a small child usuall* -nows se,eral languages. In man* <uropean countries& children are encouraged to learn a second language O usuall* <nglish. 5hile in the /.S. is 9uite unusual its citi>ens to spea- a second language& and the* are rarel* encouraged to 6ecome 4luent in an* other language. 3here are man* 4actors that in4luence societal 6ilingualism. I will mention onl* three o4 themN 1. !ducation and international schools as innovation O teaching process in ordinar* schools includes a second e,en a third language& while in international schools the whole teaching process is done in <nglish (<nglish is not the 4irst neither the nati,e language o4 students N 2. "lobali#ation O trade& mar-etplace& 6usiness& technolog*N <uropean /nion (which uses <nglish and Arench as two parallel languages in organi>ations and assem6lies #. Coloni#ation O India is a t*pical e7ample o4 a communit* that is 6ilingual as result o4 the <nglish coloni>ationN nowada*s in India *ou can 4ind a mi7 o4 <nglish and HinduN 3.+. ,irst - language and second - language relations and the transfer effect Relations 6etween 4irst O language and second O language are not alwa*s the same. 3he* depend on their genesis. Aor e7ample& Arench and <nglish 6oth 6elong to the @ermanic 4amil* o4 languages and 4or this reason *ou can 4ind to man* similarities 6etween them. 3hese two languages ha,e in common the position o4 the article& gender& o6ligator* mar-ing o4 nouns 4or pluralit*& and similar s*ntactic structures. (Stein6erg& (.(. I Sciarini& N.%. 2''" . =lso another signi4icant similarit* is in terms o4 ,oca6ular*. .ecause o4 the 6orrowing process *ou can 4ind the same words in <nglish and Arench languages& e.g . ,oca6ular* : ,oca6ularie& similarit* : similarite& di44erence : di44erence& monumental : monumentale& comparison : comparison& etc. (Stein6erg& (.(. I Sciarini& N.%. 2''" . =s we can see& the similarit* 6etween these two languages is immense. Aor this reason& learning Arench as a second Olanguage when *ou alread* -now <nglish is much easier i4 *ou learn Hapanese as a second O language. <nglish is 6etter related with Arench than with Hapanese. 8earning Hapanese as a second O language when *ou alread* -now <nglish& <nglish de4initel* won;t 4acilitate *our 0o6. 3he 4irst distinction is the writing s*stemN <nglish uses the Roman t*pe o4 alpha6et while Hapanese uses +hinese characters& then& the s*nta7 is completel* di44erentN in <nglish we ha,e S O P O $ word order& in Hapanese the* ha,e S O $ O P(% . Aor this reason& the higher the similarit* 6etween two languages is& the 4aster the learning will 6e. $n the other hand& the relation 6etween the two languages ma* cause another so O pro6lem Mcode switching$ (Stein6erg& (.(. I Sciarini& N.%. 2''" . +ode switching happens with children or adults when the relation 6etween the 4irst and the second language is high. .ecause o4 this relation the child or the adult ma* not thin- o4 a word in one language and then he or she uses a phrase 4rom the second language while spea-ing in the 4irst one. 3... Ho) to teach the reading of t)o languages? 5e had e7amples with 6ilingual 4amilies and the wa* the* teach their children how to learn two languages at the same time (simultaneousl* or when the* learn a second language a4ter the 4irst one is alread* ac9uired
(se9uential . .ut what happens when the child comes to the phase o4 learning the writing:reading processD +an a child learn two di44erent writing s*stems at the same timeD Ps*cholinguists suggest that the teaching o4 the reading process to 6e done se9uentiall*& with the second language 4ollowing the 4irst a4ter a *ear or two. (Stein6erg& (.(. I Sciarini& N.%. 2''" . I4 parents use one O person:one O language strateg*& it will 6e 6ene4icial 4or the child the same strateg* to continue in the reading processN i4 the 4ather taught him to spea- <nglish& he should teach him how to read in <nglish& and i4 the mother taught him to spea- =l6anian& then the mother should teach the child how to read in =l6anian. 3he simultaneous teaching o4 reading is not ad,isa6le& not 0ust 6ecause o4 the ris- o4 the child con4using the writing s*stems& 6ut 6ecause the parents would 6e greatl* 6urdened. (Stein6erg& (.(. I Sciarini& N.%. 2''" . It is recommended that the language to 6e learned 4irst is the one that is most important 4or the child;s wel4are. (Stein6erg& (.(. I Sciarini& N.%. 2''" . +onse9uentl*& it should 6e the language that is used in the communit* and in school. =4ter learning the 4irst language& it won;t 6e di44icult 4or the child to learn a second language and its writing and reading process. 3./. Wh( ilinguals are smarter? Spea-ing two or more languages instead o4 one o4 course has its 6ene4its& especiall* in this increasingl* glo6ali>ed world. .usiness& technolog*& politics& science& and all other 4ields o4 li4e and societ* re9uire a second e,en a third language. 3his second language gi,es *ou the chance to communicate and 6e in touch with a wider range o4 people. Aor this reason& 6ilinguals seem to ha,e superiorit* o,er monolinguals& and turns out that the* are smarter. .e4ore& 6ilingualism or the second language is seen onl* as inter4erence in child;s intellectual de,elopment. Ps*cholinguists were right a6out the inter4erence& 6ut the* did not reali>e that this inter4erence 4orces the 6rain to resol,e internal con4lict which gi,es to the mind a wor-out that strengthens its cogniti,e muscles. M5h* does the tussle 6etween two simultaneousl* acti,e language s*stems impro,e these aspects o4 cognitionD /ntil recentl*& researchers thought the 6ilingual ad,antage stemmed primaril* 4rom a6ilit* 4or inhibition that was honed 6* the e7ercise o4 suppressing one language s*stemG this suppression& it was thought& would help train the 6ilingual mind to ignore distractions in other conte7ts. .ut that e7planation increasingl* appears to 6e inade9uate& since studies ha,e shown that 6ilinguals per4orm 6etter than monolinguals e,en at tas-s that do not re9uire inhi6ition& li-e threading a line through an ascending series o4 num6ers scattered randoml* on a page;. (.hattachar0ee& ). 2'12 . No6od* e,er dou6ted the power o4 language. .ut who would ha,e imagined that the words we hear and the sentences we spea- might 6e lea,ing such a deep imprintD (.hattachar0ee& ). 2'12 . 3.0. 1ersonalit( and ilingualism It has 6een reported that when people change the language the* change their attitudes also. = +>ech pro,er6 sa*sG M8earn a new language and get a new soul;. Seems li-e& the +>echs ha,e right e,en though there is no real e,idence that 6ilinguals su44er an* more 4rom mental disorders than monolinguals In 4act& this change in personalit* is 0ust a shi4t in 6eha,ior and attitude corresponding to a shi4t in situation or conte7t& independent o4 language (@ros0ean& 199E . = 6ilingual will choose a language according to the situation and the en,ironment. So& the change o4 the language& the attitude& and the 6eha,ior& e,en the change o4 4eelings happens as a result o4 the en,ironment. 3he ma0or di44erence 6etween a monolingual and a 6ilingual in this aspect is that when 6ilinguals shi4t languages& the* shi4t cultures also whereas the monolinguals usuall* remain within the same culture. (@ros0ean&1999 . + ,onclusion 3he de,elopment o4 a human 6eing is a comple7 process. It includes its ph*sical construction and ps*chological maturit*. $6,iousl* the second one is wa* more di44icult to 6e achie,ed and the same is 6ased and depends on the s-ills and a6ilities o4 the person itsel4. It is a mi7ture o4 gained and 6orn 4eatures which include ,alues& 6elie4s& emotions and e7pression o4 all the a6o,e mentioned. 5e all -now that the e7pression o4 their inner world and their -nowledge (or the process o4 spea-ing is a t*pical 4eature o4 human 6eings and the same distinguishes them 4rom other creatures& 6ut not e,er*one is 4amiliar or understands the process that the* themsel,es go through in order to achie,e it. In this paper& we tried to descri6e and e7plain it in details in a ps*cholinguistic point o4 ,iew. 5e 4ocused our search on the importance o4 language as one and the 6est -nown wa* o4 e7pressing oursel,es and communication& memory as the main 4actor o4 learning and remem6ering& and bilingualism as an ad,anced 4orm o4 the 6oth a6o,e mentioned things. 8anguage is the main mean o4 communication. It is the primar* wa* o4 e7pressing our thoughts& ideas and emotions. <,en though it loo-s li-e a simple natural process& the ac9uisition o4 a language ta-es time. +hildren are 6orn without a languageN the* ac9uire it parallel with their growth. Interesting is the 4act that without an* particular training& a child at the age o4 4our:4i,e is a6le to sa* and remem6er se,eral words and e,en construct some simple grammatical 4orms (o4 course the child is not aware o4 an* grammatical 4orm and construction at
that age . =s the child grows up& the amount o4 words in his ,oca6ular* enlarges. =s a more mature person& he uses the language not onl* as a 4orm o4 communication and Ma 6uilder; o4 non-4inite utterances& 6ut also as an essential process o4 his cogniti,e operations which leads him to use language in its highest usageN to re4lect upon language itsel4& a process that 6etween linguists is -nown as Mmeta-language;. 1emor* on the other hand is the crucial 4actor o4 learning a language and more than that. It is the memor* which ena6les us to o6tain in4ormation and reassem6le mentall* past e7periences. 1emor* helps us remem6ering things& and as a result o4 that learning too. <,er*thing we -now and remem6er 4rom our past e7periences is due to memor*. So& 6etter memor* we ha,e& easier would 6e the learning o4 a language and greater our de,elopment as a person. 3hrough its three wa*s o4 processing in4ormation (encoding, storage and retrieval & either short % time or long % time& memor* is the -e* 4actor that o6tain all our in4ormation that will 6e used in the 4uture 4or learning new things (languages and going through past e7periences and memories. 3he third and last 4actor (discussed in this paper in the de,elopment o4 a human 6eing is 6ilingualism. .ilingualism is the a6ilit* o4 a person to spea- two languages. 3his a6ilit* is either ac9uired in in4anc* or later. 8earning two languages at a time ma* seem ,er* di44icult 4or an adult& 6ut 4or a child it is a Mpossi6le mission;. = child ma* 6e e7posed to two languages within the 4amil* (two parents O two languages and 4or this reason she:he will ac9uire 6oth o4 them. 3he child will address to each parent in the language that the parent addresses the child (one O parentN one O language strateg* . .ut& we ha,e larger scale o4 6ilingualism than individual or family 6ilingualismN that;s societal 6ilingualism. It is a result o4 a 6ig ad,anced progressi,e societ* which re9uires more s-ills and wa*s o4 e7pressing 4or 6eing part o4 it. .eing part o4 a Mworld societ*; means to 6e a6le to spea- to it. Aor this reason 4luenc* in more than one language ma-es *ou more suita6le in this glo6ali>ed world& and the culture that a language 6rings with it empowers the 6ilinguals to shi4t not onl* 6etween languages 6ut also 6etween cultures. 3he de,elopment o4 a human 6eing has no ending. 3he utterances that we can produce out o4 our ,oca6ular* are endless. 3he greater our memor* is& the easier will 6e the learning o4 a new language which would ma-e us 6ilinguals. = 6ilingual means an intelligent& prepared and desira6le citi>en o4 the world. Bibliography @ardner& H. (19!7 3he mind;s new scienceG = histor* o4 the cogniti,e re,olution& /nites States o4 =mericaG %incent 3orre. Sados-i 1. IPai,io =. (2''1 . = dual coding theor* o4 reading and writing& 8awrence <rl6aum =ssociates Inc. +ha4e 5. (199E . (iscourse& +onsciousness and 3ime& 3he uni,ersit* o4 +hicago Press 8td& 3he /S=& @arcia 1. (2''7 . 1oti,ation& language learning 6elie4s& sel4-e44icac* and acculturation patterns among two groups o4 <nglish learnersC& Pro-Puest in4o and learning compan*& /S& 3ra7cler 1.H& (2'12 . Introduction to ps*cholinguistics;& Hohn 5ile* I Sns 8td& /K& .hattachar0ee& ). (2'12 M5h* .ilinguals are smarter;& New )or-GNew )or- 3imes& 1arch 17& 2'12 =rticle SourceG httpG::<>ine=rticles.com:EJJ2'9J +eno>& H. I Hessner& /. (2'1' M<nglish in <uropeG 3he ac9uisition o4 a third language;& /nited KingdomG 8ighning Source /K 8td. @enesee& A. (19!7 8earning through o4 two languagesG Studies o4 Immersion and .ilingual <ducation& Rowle*& 1=G New6ur* House. @ros0ean& A. (199E Indi,idual .ilingualism in 3he <nc*clopaedia o4 8anguage and 8inguistics;N $74ordG Pergamon Press. @ros0ean& A. (1999 Indi,idual .ilingualism; in +oncise <nc*clopaedia o4 <ducational 8inguistics;N $74ordG <lse,ier. Ha-uta& K. (19!" 3he 1irror o4 8anguageG 3he (e6ate on .ilingualism& New )or-G .asic .oo-s. Holmes& H. (2''! =n Introduction to Sociolinguistics& 1ala*siaG 8ongman. Hudson& R.=. (19!' Sociolinguistics& +am6ridgeG +am6ridge /ni,ersit* Press. Krashen& S. (. (197J & M3he critical period or language ac9uisition and its possi6le 6ases;& =nnals o4 the New )or- =cadem* o4 Sciences. Krashen& S. I 8ong (eds. (19!2 +hild-=dult di44erences in second language ac9uisition;& Rowle*& 1=G New6ur* House. Kellogg R.3. (2''# & +ogniti,e Ps*cholog*& Second edition& Sage Pu6lications& Inc. +ali4ornia& Stein6erg& (.(. I Sciarini& N.%. (2''" & =n Introduction to Ps*cholinguistics& @reat .ritainG 8ongman. 5oda-& R.& Hohnstone& ..& I Kerswill& P. (<ds. .(2'11 . &he SA"! handbook of sociolinguistics. 8ondonG S=@< Pu6lications 8td. Pastorino <.<. (2'1' & 5hat is ps*cholog*D <ssentials& Second <dition& +engage 8earning& /S=&
This academic article was published by The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE). The IISTE is a pioneer in the Open Access Publishing service based in the U.S. and Europe. The aim of the institute is Accelerating Global Knowledge Sharing. More information about the publisher can be found in the IISTE’s homepage: http://www.iiste.org CALL FOR JOURNAL PAPERS The IISTE is currently hosting more than 30 peer-reviewed academic journals and collaborating with academic institutions around the world. There’s no deadline for submission. Prospective authors of IISTE journals can find the submission instruction on the following page: http://www.iiste.org/journals/ The IISTE editorial team promises to the review and publish all the qualified submissions in a fast manner. All the journals articles are available online to the readers all over the world without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. Printed version of the journals is also available upon request of readers and authors. MORE RESOURCES Book publication information: http://www.iiste.org/book/ Recent conferences: http://www.iiste.org/conference/ IISTE Knowledge Sharing Partners EBSCO, Index Copernicus, Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, JournalTOCS, PKP Open Archives Harvester, Bielefeld Academic Search Engine, Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek EZB, Open J-Gate, OCLC WorldCat, Universe Digtial Library , NewJour, Google Scholar
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.