Unit 9: Bilingualism!
Bilingual: Someone is bilingual if they have a high level of proﬁciency in two languages!
They can also be ﬂuent in either of these languages!•
Switch between L1 & L2 without much hesitation!•
Individual vs. Societal Bilingualism
Balanced (fully) Bilingual: Knowledge of L1 and L2 is the same!
Use these languages identically in any situation they are in (such as formal v. informal)!•
Non-balanced Bilingual: Knowledge of L1 and L2 is slightly diﬀerent!
Can be ﬂuent in both languages but know more words in one language in diﬀerent domains!•
Dominant Language: Stronger in one language!◦
Preferred language: Bilingual speakers may prefer one language over another!◦
"Semi-lingualism" --> Certain people that are exposed to two languages that have not
developed high levels of proﬁciency in either language!
Common amongst young people that grow up speaking another language at home and learn a •
diﬀerent language at school!
Simultaneous Bilinguals: Young people learn languages simultaneously --> exposed to both
languages at the same time!
In child's youth --> phase lasting 6 months in years 2-3!•
Mixing of L1 and L2!◦
Sequential/Consecutive Bilingual: Learn one language ﬁrst, and then are heavily exposed to a
second language later on!
For parents who want bilingual children:!
One Parent, One Language / OPOL !•
One parent speaks one language to their child at all times, other parent speaks a diﬀerent ◦
language to the child at all times !
Consistency is key!!‣
Child must be motivated to learn and use two languages --> they are led to believe ‣
that they will only be able to communicate with each parent if they use these diﬀerent
Possible situations of bilingualism:!
(1) Both parents speak Spanish at home, child is born in the USA!•
Child eventually becomes bilingual through exposure in school, etc.!◦
If the parents live in an area where most people are Spanish speakers, the child might not ◦
learn enough English!
(2) Child is born in Mexico, family arrives in USA when the child is 5!•
Parents still speak Spanish at home!◦
Results in semi-lingualism!◦
(3) Mother speaks English, Father speaks Japanese, child is born in the USA!•
Child probably won't be bilingual, because there will be much more exposure to English!◦
(4) Mother speaks Spanish, Father speaks Romanian, child is born in the USA !•
OPOL is used!◦