Bilingualism Paper

773 Words Jul 24th, 2013 4 Pages
Bilingualism Paper

Simultaneous bilingualism describes a situation in which a child learns more than one language from birth, meaning they are spoken to in both languages on a regular basis. If this occurs throughout the final stages of language development, the child will be able to fluently speak and understand both languages; both languages are considered the child’s first speaking language. On the other hand, sequential bilingualism occurs when a second language is not learned as a native language but taught as a foreign language instead (Rowe, B. M., & Levine, D. P., 2006). This could occur in an immigrant family, for example, perhaps the parents do not speak the native tongue of the community, so the children
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In discussion about how the unitary or separate systems hypotheses influence bilingual acquisition in children, many theories are up for debate. There are those who believe that children did not acquire language bilingually which are known as the unitary language systems hypothesis. In this theory, children are believed to put both of the languages’ grammar rules and vocabulary terms and mesh them together into a single system, rather than keeping them separate. This occurs at a young age and even as the child becomes older and the vocabulary tends to differentiate, grammar rules continue to mesh together. Code switching is one of the main pieces of evidence which support this hypothesis (Rowe, B. M., & Levine, D. P., 2006).
In the separate system hypothesis, it is believed that children will separate the vocabulary and grammar rules into their own systems rather than combining it. Children would acquire two different language systems from the beginning of the language acquisition stages. In this theory, rules do not cross over to one another and children do not move through stages to eventually separate the languages. Instead, the child is able to separate the different languages from the start of learning the languages.
The difference between the sequential and simultaneous bilingual comes down to the difference in whether or

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