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Introduction: English as a Global Language and Its Influence in Arising the Bilingualism By the end of the twentieth century English was already well on its way to becoming a language that is used world-widely for communication in many fields such as economics, education, employment, travel and tourism, information exchange and even in popular culture like pop music and movies. According to "The Sociopolitics of English Language Teaching" by Joan Kelly Hall and William G. Eggington, "Individuals who speak English gain a concrete economic advantage. English provides increased educational and employment opportunities” (Andrew
Abrahamson, www.eslteachersboard.com). The increasing function of English as a global language has made people in the countries where English is not the native language try their best to acquire English in order to become the member of a global world. This goes the same with the people with different native language than English to enter the country where English is the native language. Their awareness of English importance has passed through to their children. People nowadays are alert enough to equip their children with proper English so they are ready for the globalization. While they are trying to catch up with English, they also need to
Based on the phenomenal language acquisition processes in childhood. Language learning is seen as conscious process. Language learning is conditioned by the way in which the mind observes. organizes and stores information (Hutchinson and Waters. 1987: 39).maintain the use of their mother tongue as a bond to their origins and as their communication tool to the native communities. Language Learning and Language Acquisition Language can only be properly understood as a reflection of human thought processes. Therefore. in the early years of children lives. this process happens unconsciously which is termed as acquisition. using the two terms interchangeably. These circumstances have created the idea of raising children in a bilingual situation of using both their mother tongue and English in their communication. within which children are limited in acquisition resulted in the natural growth. Yet. in this section we don’t emphasize to this distinction. 1987: 49). From the earlier age to the critical age. This paper is an attempt to contribute some general ideas on the establishment of that kind of bilingualism within families. possible question seem to come “Are the children having acquired their first language still able to acquire second or third 2 . children acquire language. This reflects our views that for the second language learner both parts processes are likely to play useful part (Hutchinson and Waters.
Klein in Hutabarat (2006: 49) states that this hypothesis was first introduced by Wode and it basically underlines that the acquisition of the first and second language go through the same processes. we can say that learning English as the second/foreign language for children is possible to be done within the same time they are acquiring their first language/mother tongue as long as they are exposed to both languages equally. which attempt to reveal these acquisition processes in children’s early years. As language proficiency can be evaluated in terms of listening. First Important Step: Setting up the Definition of Bilingualism The word “bilingualism“ has different meanings for different families. based on the same regularities. This is the condition which we call as bilingualism.language?“. while other parents expect their kids not only to be bilingual. for some families. but speak in just one may constitute bilingualism. There are several theories. having the ability to listen in two languages. but also literate in both languages. Referring to the discussion above. we still have to agree on several things to make this bilingual process to succeed. in this case English and the mother tongue. speaking. Referring to what Marsha Rosenberg (1996) states in her journal 3 . The miraculous sub-conscious language acquisition in childhood gives more benefits in term of their effortless means to fluency. reading and writing. One of the theories that many experts rely on is the Identity Hypothesis theory. Yet.
etc.” ESL learners generally have much more exposure to English and have more chances to use English compared to the EFL learners. This dominance may be different for listening and speaking or for reading and writing and usually changes over time. Few people are truly balanced bilinguals in both languages in all situations. It is very important for the parents to clarify their own definition of bilingualism in order to establish the most proper strategy in raising their children to acquire the languages.there are two terms of bilingualism. we have to be aware of the distinction between English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL). 4 . The term balanced bilingualism is used to describe individuals who possess about the same fluency in two languages while the term semilingualism refers to those who have deficiencies in both languages compared with monolinguals. EFL refers to the learning of English by students in a country where English is not the native language. Family Roles in Language Acquisition Before we go further. These deficiencies could be in reduced vocabulary. Paul (2003:1) states “ESL refers to the learning of English by immigrants to a country where English is the native language. difficulty in thinking or expressing emotions in one of the languages. One language is usually dominant. incorrect grammatical patterns.
Therefore the family members need to work hand in hand in making the English-andmother-tongue bilinguals succeed because bilingualism isn’t something that simply happens. application. Pardede also quotes Brown (1987: 42) as he emphasizes that a person who has not reached the critical period can acquire language more easily. into their communication they need to realize that it is their role that makes the acquisition happens in the first place. Krashen and Terrel (1988: 45) as stated in Pardede’s journal (2008): “those who start second language as children will usually reach higher level of competence than those who start as adults (i. As a conclusion of those statements. and beyond this time language is increasingly difficult to master.Conceptually. Recent researches on the field of educational psychology and language teaching revealed that the younger somebody learns a language the better his acquisition will be. from birth until the child leaves home which influences the children’s capabilities in many areas including their language skills. family plays a very important role in a child’s language development because they are the first party that touches the children lives at the very early years so they can give early intervention to the language acquisition.e. When the parents decide to bring English. after age 15)”. Families also have great quantities of time to share together. to start learning English as a Second/Foreign Language as young children is very advantageous. besides their own mother tongue. It takes some careful planning and thorough 5 .
The parents may have language ability but have made a decision about which language they use to speak with the child. to achieve a successful mother-tongue-and-English acquisition. parents should determine the systems on how they are going to conduct the bilinguals communicate with them in term of the language use. 2. the language of the home and are unable to speak the language of the school and possibly that of the community. Simultaneous learning of two languages. whether in preschool or later. When children are learning two languages at the same time parents need to work out language strategies that emphasizes boundaries 6 . Therefore. Sequential or successive bilingualism. This happens when a child has one established language before learning a second language. • The language or languages other family members speak with the child. Some parents speak only one language.In relation to the roles of the family. two types of bilingualism have been defined (Rosenberg: 1996) which are: 1. such as the language spoken between siblings or between children and grandparents • The language the child uses in the community. • The parents’ actual use of language with the child. which tends to be affected by four key factors: • The parents’ ability in one or more languages.
the first language/mother tongue and English need to be used separately in any conversation to the children. In this case. • Minority Language at Home (ML@H).between the languages. language learning. It simply means that everyone at home speaks the second language. any pattern and such variations that work to families may differ one another because bilingualism is a flexible and highly personal success. which is in this case is English and the first language is used in the community. They might experience difficulty separating vocabulary and grammar into the appropriate language. Each parent or caregiver consistently speaks only one language to the child. It really is the key in early Children must be exposed to each language consistently by not mixing the languages in the same conversation by the same person. founder of the Multilingual Children’s Association defines the two most popular methods: • One Person. Other points of consideration that we must put in our attention in applying bilingual system for our children are (Rosenberg: 1996): • Consistency in using each language. Choosing and adapting the basic language system that fits the family’s lifestyle is the wisest thing to do. while the wife speaks English or vice versa. One Language (OPOL) is the most common family language system in use. In addition. Christina Bosemark. • Balance exposure between the languages. Rich language experiences 7 . For instance: the husband speaks Bahasa Indonesia.
music and even videos in both languages is also important. If the child is able to say particular word. When English as the minority language is not well exposed. but is struggling to remember it. Some difficulties might appear in the process of acquisition. This goes the same whenever he or she makes mistakes. 8 . • Qualified language interaction by becoming the good listeners and good language model as well as giving encouragement and approval. Providing books. just listen and then repeat the sentence in English correctly. jog her memory by providing the first syllable. whines and tantrums. Living in a country where English is a minority requires extra efforts from the parents in order to provide an equal and balanced exposure to their children’s English acquisition.in both languages are essential for good bilingual development. • Parents should be aware of individual difference among children. Whenever the child speaks the community language. the children probably speak more of the mother tongue and parents could encounter this problem by applying these strategies: • Be persistent in speaking English consistently yet keep the child’s enthusiasm. parents must have plan for additional time spent in using it. Each child learns language at his or her own speed. Avoid translating the words and never negotiate about using English even though the child begs.
Children memorize the words faster using songs since melody is a fantastic memory aid. always keep up the enthusiasm by giving positive feedback for the children to hear.• Provide interesting English materials such as books. speaking English as well as their mother tongue to their children. Conclusion English as a global language plays important roles in many parts of life nowadays. and games. Children of all ages will learn from each other. Rhyming words and interesting games will also make the most of language memory. it has to consider the 9 . songs. Yet. This activity will encourage children to use their English happily by giving comments and responding to the story. Their peers are the best language teachers of all. • Join an English speaking school. Make story telling and reading together as a regular habit. this bilingual system requires thorough considerations. More and more people try to acquire English as early as possible by applying the bilingual system in their family. • Last but not least. Make good use of English songs and games. There are several methods of bilingual application and its variations but at the end whatever method being chosen. careful planning and consistent application with strong commitment. Acquiring English as a second/foreign language in bilingual environment is possible to be done regarding the fact of children’s miraculous language acquisition within their childhood.
2007. 10 .characteristic and lifestyle of each family itself. Acquiring English from the early stage is one of the tools to become a citizen of the world who is ready for the globalization. BIBLIOGRAPHY Harmer. It is something precious that parents can offer their children and it must be planned and presented with care for it to be well used and appreciated. The Practice of English Language Teaching. Jeremy. in term of being able to communicate with a wider variety of people.
Hongkong: Longman Asia ELT. Paul. Raising Bilingual Children. Language and Brain. A paper presented on Seminar and Workshop Teaching English to Indonesian Young Learners FKIPUKI. David. Tom and Waters. Anggiat Mananda. Hutchinson. Marsha.England: Pearson Education Limited. Teaching Language Through Songs and Rhymes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Alan. June 1996. English for Specific Purposes.org/Articles/Rosenberg-Bilingual. 2003. 1987.omniglot. 2006. II. Pardede. Eka.html 11 . Hutabarat. Parlindungan and Kurniasih. Teaching English to Children in Asia. Jakarta.html) http://www. Jakarta: Christian University of Indonesia. Vol. 6. The Internet TESL Journal. No. 2008. Rosenberg.com/language/articles/bilingualkids6. (http://iteslj.
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