My assignment for this bibliography was Children's Knowledge. Being a
parent of a four-year-old, I thought it sounded interesting and easy. Only
after talking to a friend who is a professor of developmental psychology,
did I begin to understand what a huge subject this was. I realized I had to
find a subtopic that would allow me to get my arms around it. For weeks I
struggled with lonely attempts to organize my thoughts and force some
kind of a focus to emerge. Nothing happened. I tried going to Tattered
Cover bookstore and Denver Public Library to browse in search of an
inspiration. Nothing happened. Luckily, at the Denver Public Library I ran
into Sharon Morris, who is one of my classmates and a children's librarian.
We struck up a conversation. Sharon asked me questions about my
interests and thoughts, and brought up possibilities of different
directions. Within fifteen minutes I had decided on a topic, and was raring
to go. This is the second class in a row where Sharon, whom I know only
very casually, has played this role for me. To me this really drove home
the importance of the human element and the value of networking. Our
peers are a formidable resource for us to turn to for the most amazing
The area I chose to explore was Bilingual Children. Once the thought had
occurred to me, it made perfect sense. This is a hotly current topic in our
global society. It is of personal interest to me, because I am Finnish-
English bilingual myself, and feeling helpless in my desire to pass the
Finnish on to my daughter in this English-speaking community. Children
remained the focus of this topic, as in the original assignment, and the
knowledge of two languages certainly falls under the "knowledge
Early on in my research I felt the need for further definition of the topic.
Bilingualism in children seemed to be divided into three main areas:
parenting, classroom education, and theory on language development. I
immediately decided to eliminate classroom education from consideration
for three reasons: (1) My own immediate interest was more in the larger
developmental and parenting issues. (2) This literature seemed to be of
less universal value, being mainly targeted toward educators. (3) It
appeared to be the most prolific area of the three; the volume of research
would have been overwhelming considering my time limitations.
My immediate target audience being my classmates, I wanted to ensure
the appropriateness and usefulness of this bibliography to them. These
were my considerations:
1. First and foremost I thought of my classmates as librarians serving
their patrons. In
todays global society bilingual families are everywhere. This will give
some resources to help them cope with their special issues.
2. Most of these resources discuss general language and cognitive
interwoven with bilingual issues, since bilingualism cannot exist
independently of the
other two. In fact bilingual language acquisition research has
insights to general language acquisition theory. Language and cognition
course, integral components of human information processing, and
definite interest to our class.
3. The level of the writing in these materials is comfortable for this
class. All materials
are written for either academia or an educated general audience.
The ultimate target audience is the bilingual parent. Their needs are
anticipated in various different ways. First of all, the weight of the
resources is on the parenting rather than theory. The bulk of the
materials offer practical assistance in helping children's bilingual
development, and support in the form of case studies that prove to be both
comforting and encouraging. However, for the parent who wishes to
explore more theoretical background, works by prominent scholars are
included. Even though this section is small, it can prove to be helpful for
further research. Each one of these volumes has extensive references
and/or reading lists.
THE SEARCH PROCESS
I initiated my research on CARL (Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries).
CARL offers access to Books in Print online, which was my first stop. I
did several keyword searches using the following terms: bilingual child,
bilingual children, second language acquisition and two languages. As a
result I found lengthy lists of titles dealing with bilingual education,
foreign language instruction, bilingual families and language development
in bilinguals. After limiting my focus on materials published in the last
fifteen years, and eliminating the works with an educational focus, I had a
manageable list of titles closely related to my topic.
I remained on CARL for the next step in my research. This step involved
going through individual library online catalogs. First I tried to locate the
titles I had retrieved from Books in Print. Then I did additional keyword
searching in the library catalogs using the same keywords as above with
added authors' names from the earlier search. I also browsed the catalogs
by title and by call number. The keyword searches retrieved quite a few
additional titles. Call number browsing was also somewhat helpful. Title
browsing produced very few materials I had not found already.
Still on CARL, I then looked for articles. Uncover produced fairly good
results. Worldcat and Articles1st on FirstSearch produced next to
nothing. By this time I had limited my keywords to bilingual combined
with child, children, family, families and parents. A book review search
in these databases was not very helpful to me.
My last online resource was the Internet. This created some frustration,
because all of my searches on my home computer resulted in error
messages. Having had very little experience on searching the Internet, I
started to doubt my abilities. Fortunately, I also have Internet access at
work. I tried searching the World Wide Web there, and this time got
immediate results! I have concluded that the problem at home is my
internet provider. I am on America Online, which seems to be overloaded
with traffic. At work we use Netcom. What a difference the provider
For my Web search I used the following search engines: Infoseek, Lycos
and Excite. My keywords were the same as above. These searches
produced one excellent hit and quite a bit of garbage. All engines found
the good hit, but Infoseek was the most efficient. On Excite I found an
additional usable site by typing in the words two languages on a whim,
even though I had for the most part abandoned these words as not very
The search on CARL had revealed that the libraries easily accessible to me
had very few of the materials I was looking for. Denver Public Library
owned a couple of books. Auraria had a few more, plus some journals.
University of Denver fared a little better, but my access to it is limited
because it is a private school, and I have no affiliation. The one library
that seemed to have almost everything I needed was University of
Northern Colorado in Greeley. It is not a library I normally consider
visiting, because it is out of town. However, I have a friend who is a
professor at UNC and commutes there daily from Denver. So, I took a day
off work, hitched a ride with my friend Marilyn, and spent a day in Greeley.
The library at UNC was great! I walked in with my list from CARL, and
came home with almost everything on the list. As I retrieved the books
from the stacks, I ran into a few more titles of interest, but for the most
part I kept to my list. The journals were a different matter. UNC had
multitudes of journal titles on bilingualism, linguistics and language
acquisition. As I looked for the articles on my list, I skimmed through
other issues of relevant journals such as Bilingual Review, Journal of
Child Language and Studies in Second Language Acquisition. Direct hits to
my topic were few, but there was so much related information, it was
difficult to draw a line at how far this research should go. Many of the
articles on my original list turned out to be off the mark, but I stumbled
onto some great book reviews (which I had not even considered yet at this
point) practically by accident. Also, they had a video I had found on CARL
and wanted to consider for the bibliography. I was not eligible to check
out materials from this library, but Marilyn who is on the faculty, checked
them out for me. I came home with a stack of books, articles and a video.
I did go back to Denver Public Library to find book reviews. I started out
with the Book Review Digest, because it provided abstracts of the
reviews, but could not find reviews of any of the books I was looking for.
Next I went to the Book Review Index. It listed reviews on almost all of
the significant works I had collected. As I was looking up the reviews in
magazines, microfiche and microfilm, I found additional reviews of my
books not mentioned in the Book Review Index. I also added two new titles
to my list, because I stumbled onto favorable reviews on them.
It has never come naturally to me to rely on other people for help. I like
to think things through in my own mind, and learn things from books and
other inanimate resources that I feel I can control. Throughout this
project it was apparent, however, that people were an invaluable resource.
In fact, I could not have done this without my friends.
From the onset of the project I depended on others. As discussed earlier, I
could only find a focus for my bibliography after Sharon spent time with
me discussing the possibilities. I also received help from my friend
Marilyn, who has a PhD in Psychology, and who specializes in child
While going through my materials, I attended a couple of informal
gatherings with my classmates. I always returned home with ideas about
types of materials to look for, new search techniques I had not thought of,
ideas about how to look at my topic from different angles, and most of all
their support. The sense of community in this group is wonderful, and the
power of networking is tremendous! Also, every time I visited the Denver
Public Library I seemed to run into classmates there. These chance
meetings and conversations also brought out book titles that I had not
been able to uncover anywhere else, but that turned out to be useful.
Last but not least, my family was also a tremendous help. My husband
David, who is much more technologically adept than I am, helped with my
online search strategies -- as well as offering practical technical
assistance. My daughter Alexa, who is struggling to pick up bits and
pieces of Finnish from her not-very-consistent-in-her-language-choice
mother, is the inspiration for this bibliography.
As I was reading through the material I had found, I constantly ran into
references to other works. All of the authors quoted each other's
research, and most of these books and articles had extensive lists of
references. Every time I opened a new book it lead me to additional
sources. (Marilyn kept running to the UNC library to get more books for me
as I found new titles -- thank goodness her office is in the building right
next to the library!) Eventually I reached a point where all of the
significant recent works referenced in my sources were familiar. This
gave me the reassurance that my research had been sufficiently
exhaustive. It also gave me the grounds to eliminate works that seemed
to not have been influential.
As I studied my materials and read other people's reviews on them, the
division between different mediums was startling. Most of the books I
had gathered were excellent. They directly addressed the focus of the
bibliography, and their value to the field of study was evidenced by
everyone's mutual cross-citation of each other. The Internet sites and
video turned out to be interesting, but with their evaluation I was pretty
much on my own. My real problem were the articles. I had found a ton of
titles, and even brought home a handful. At closer scrutiny, however, they
just did not seem to fit the scope of my bibliography. All of the articles I
found were addressed to the scientist and specialist. Their topics were
very narrow in depth probes into specific issues in the authors' area of
specialty. They simply required too much familiarity with the field to be
useful for lay parents, who were looking for an introduction to
bilingualism. Therefore, after much agonizing, I chose to eliminate all
articles from my final bibliography. I feel that this kept it more faithful
to its intended scope, and kept the list more cohesive.
I found this project extremely interesting and rewarding. Naturally the
topic was very interesting to me, but I also learned a great deal about
finding materials, resources to use and efficient search and evaluation
techniques. To me personally the greatest satisfaction came from
comparing my performance to an earlier experience. Four years ago, when
my daughter was an infant, I made and attempt to find readings that would
help me in raising her to speak Finnish as well as English. My attempt --
half-hearted as it may have been -- resulted in finding one book at the
Denver Public Library. As it turned out, the same book was still the only
one I could find at DPL. This time, however, I had the tools to go further,
and got some results!
RAISING BILINGUAL CHILDREN: A BIBLIOGRAPHY
Our society today is diverse, mobile and global. We cannot pretend to be
living in a monolingual and monocultural vacuum. As modern
communication technology connects people and communities all over the
world to each other, it emphasizes the need for us to better understand
each other. More and more people find themselves in need of more than
one language in order to communicate effectively. In fact an often quoted
statistic states that more than half of the world's population is already
bilingual. The demand is compelling and the statistics are impressive, but
everyday bilingualism can be problematic and frustrating.
This bibliography addresses the special needs of a bilingual family in a
monolingual society. Its purpose is to equip the bilingual parent with an
arsenal of resources to turn to. It strives to draw materials from a wide
range of knowledge. Included are philosophical questions on the
advantages and disadvantages of childhood bilingualism, practical advice
in helping a child's language development, research findings on different
aspects of bilingual development, examinations of connections between
bilingualism and cognitive development, and issues on culture and
The items in this bibliography vary from very practical and non-technical
to highly academic and specialized. The bibliography is divided into two
sections: I. Bilingual Families -- practical advice to parents in how to
raise bilingual children, supported by basic research and case studies, and
II. Theory -- books and papers from leading scholars to offer the
inquisitive parent a more in depth theoretical background to bilingualism.
Part I is an exhaustive collection of books written specifically about
bilingual families in the last fifteen years. Part II is a more selective
representation of additional theoretical works, and is primarily intended
to serve as a springboard for further study. Within each part the
materials are first arranged by medium, then alphabetized.
I. BILINGUAL FAMILIES
Arnberg, Lenore, Raising Children Bilingually: The Pre-School Years,
Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, England, 1987.
Linguist Lenore Arnberg, who is a native speaker of English, lives and
works in Sweden.
Arnberg begins the book with a letter from a Polish immigrant mother in
Sweden, who very much wants to teach Polish to her daughter, but feels
that all of her efforts are doomed to fail. In the letter she asks the
questions: Should I raise my child bilingually? and How can I raise my
child bilingually? This book was written to answer those questions.
While the other authors in this bibliography focus on "elitist" bilingualism
(educated parents raising their children bilingually by choice), Arnberg's
approach is different. She writes primarily about and for immigrant
parents, who speak a minority language at home, but whose families are
forced to acquire the majority language in order to function in the
community. The first section of the book defines the immigrant parent as
the intended end-user. The second section provides some answers to
parents who wonder if they should insist on bilingualism. The third and
fourth sections offer advice on how to accomplish bilingual child-rearing
by introducing some theory and suggesting practical strategies for
enhancing the bilingual environment. The fifth section consists of several
case studies of bilingual families. The book also offers a Family
bilingualism rating scale for self-evaluation and a handy checklist of
main points covered in the book.
Arnberg writes with a clear, down to earth style, that is both informative
and enjoyable. This book was reviewed in the Modern Language Journal by
Ofelia Garcia of City College of New York. She praises Arnberg's
thoroughness and organization as well as her ability to write from the
parent's perspective. (MLJ, Summer 1989, p. 209) This author obviously
has exhaustive knowledge of her field, and translates it beautifully into a
practical handbook that could benefit every bilingual parent.
D^pke, Susanne, One Parent--One Language: an Interactional Approach,
John Benjamins Publishing, Philadelphia, PA, 1992.
Susanne D^pke is a linguist at the Department of Linguistics and Language
Studies at the University of Melbourne and the parent of a bilingual child.
This book starts out with a thorough summary of previous research on
bilingual families. D^pke describes major concepts and conclusions, and
presents case studies from other people's work. Her own study consists
of six first born 2-year old children of English-German families in
Australia. She sets out to examine productive vs. passive language use in
children who have been raised bilingually since infancy, and the impact of
their language environment. The report is packed with quantitative
information in about 100 tables. The central finding is that active
language use appears to be strongly linked to the child's need to use it.
The parents' consistency in using their chosen language and their
"insisting strategies" are found to be the strongest factors in
environmental differences between productive and non-productive
language use. An interesting feature from a parent-reader's point of view
is a progress report on the same children four years later.
Annick De Houwer gave this book a somewhat mixed review in the Journal
of Child Language. She recognizes D^pke as a pioneer researcher in the
area of language environment in bilingual development. De Houwer
obviously considers this important research, but finds some aspects of
the study unclear and incomplete (J. Child Lang., October 1994, p. 745). For
a non-specialist this is interesting reading, and a fascinating comparative
look at different families styles in bilingual child-rearing.
Harding, Edith and Philip Riley, The Bilingual Family: A Handbook for
Parents, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 1986.
Edith Harding is the Assistant Director of Research , Department of
Linguistics, University of Cambridge. She is French. Her two children are
French-English bilingual. Her whole family speaks French to each other,
including her English husband, while the community language is English.
Philip Riley has taught in universities in Finland & Malta, and now works
at Centre de Recherches et d'Applications PÈdagogiques en Langues at the
University of Nancy. He has published extensively on linguistics &
language teaching. His three children speak English to their father,
Swedish to their mother and French in the community.
Harding and Riley have organized their book in three sections. The first
section begins with a general discussion on language and its uses,
continues with explanations of bilingualism in general and the
development of the bilingual child, and concludes with a series of
questions for parents to consider in deciding if bilingualism is right for
their children. The second section presents 16 case studies of bilingual
families. These are anecdotal accounts of the families' overall success in
bilingualism. They contain little detail or real data for research. The
third section is an alphabetical reference guide to the concepts discussed
in the book.
In her Modern Language Journal review, Ofelia Garcia of City College of
New York calls The Bilingual Family relevant, thorough and intelligent.
She commends Harding and Riley on writing "in a style that makes reading
fun for both the professional in the field of bilingualism and parents."
She did criticize the book for incoherence between the three parts and a
lack of depth in the case studies (MLJ, Summer 1989, p. 209). This
apparently stems from the authors' wish to write a "handbook for all
parents who might be considering bringing up their children as bilinguals"
rather than a scholarly work. In my opinion this is accomplished
beautifully, and with the authoritative voice of two respected scholars in
Merrill, Jane, Bringing Up Baby Bilingual, Facts on File, New York, NY,
Jane Merrill is a freelance writer living in Bronxville, NY. After being
exposed to French in her childhood as a Navy brat living overseas, she
pursued studies in French as a second language in college. She never
achieved total mastery of the language, but always dreamed of giving her
children the gift of two languages. When her twins were 18 months old,
one day she greeted them with a "bon jour les bÈbÈs", and has been
speaking French to them ever since.
Merrill presents no research. The first chapter starts with a short, but
enthusiastic, discussion on why she has chosen bilingualism for her
family. The second chapter describes several other bilingual families that
she interviewed for this book. The remaining nine chapters are devoted to
advice on how to accomplish making your home and children bilingual in a
monolingual society. This book is brimming with practical tips on
materials, games, travel, people resources, and living abroad. Anyone
aspiring to support a non-majority language in their home will appreciate
the tips ranging from names of books, and addresses of vendors, to finding
an au-pair, and living with one, to travel tips and help on affordable
approaches to living abroad.
Most specific tips are geared toward speakers of French, Spanish, Italian
or German, but many of the general tips apply to any language.
The book concludes with an afterword by Wallace E. Lambert of McGill
University. This is a great introduction to bilingualism by a renown
Merrill is unique among the authors of this bibliography in that she has no
academic background or scientific aspirations. This book is purely
practical and entertaining, and a must-read for any bilingual parent who
is trying to cope with the everyday reality of scarce resources.
Saunders, George, Bilingual Children: Guidance for the Family, Multilingual
Matters, Clevedon, England, 1982.
George Saunders grew up in his native Australia speaking English. In high
school he developed a love for languages. His passion lead him to acquire
a native-like fluency in German, and obtain a doctorate in German
linguistics. He also decided to raise his children bilingually to give them
the benefit of two languages and two cultures from early on. This book is
a case study on his children's bilingual development and his family's
The book begins with a glossary of terms and a brief introduction to
bilingualism. The body of the book describes communication patterns and
day-to-day situations in the family. Saunders speaks exclusively German
to his three children. His wife, who also understands German but speaks
it less fluently, addresses the children in English, which is also the
language of the surrounding society. The book follows the two boys'
development until ages 8 and 6 (their baby sister is too young to produce
language). Numerous examples of the children's use of language are
quoted. Saunders has tape-recorded incredible amounts of conversation,
analyzed the material, and presents the results as compelling evidence to
the success of his experiment. The boys are growing up speaking German
perfectly naturally and proficiently. The book also discusses outside
influences such as relatives and playmates, biliteracy, the children's
attitudes toward the two languages, and materials and techniques to aid
with bilingual development.
Saunders possesses the solid linguistics background of a German scholar.
He demonstrates a thorough knowledge of earlier research in childhood
bilingualism. This book is a pioneering work on the subject of raising
bilingual children. It is consistently referenced in later work in this
field. It was well received by researchers and educators, but is also
enjoyable reading for a general audience with an interest in bilingual
Saunders, George, Bilingual Children: From Birth to Teens, Multilingual
Matters, Clevedon, England, 1988.
This book is an expansion and sequel to Saunders' earlier book. It explores
the children's development up to their teens. Many new examples and data
from later years have been added. Another addition is a chapter on Family
language vs. national language, which explores the family's 6-month stay
in Hamburg. In the words of Michael J. Smith, who reviewed it in the
Times Educational Supplement, this book "brings the record up to date but
is not, one hopes, the end of the story."(TES, February 1983, p. 38)
Taeschner, Traute, The Sun Is Feminine: A Study on Language Acquisition
in Bilingual Children, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, 1983.
Traute Taeschner, a researcher in the Department of Psychology of the
Processes of Development and Socialization at the University of Rome, is
a Brazilian of German origin. She grew up German-Portuguese bilingual,
and is passing on the bilingual legacy to her two daughters. Her husband
is Italian, the family lives in Rome, and she speaks German to her children.
The Sun Is Feminine is primarily a record of Taeschner's daughters'
language acquisition, but also includes data collected from a dozen other
children. The background for her present study is laid by a definition of
bilingualism and a thorough presentation of earlier research in the field.
Her actual research looks at word acquisition, development of basic
sentence structure, acquisition of morphology and syntax and interference
from one language to another. Throughout, she stresses the similarity of
bilingual children's development to that of monolingual children. She also
includes a chapter discussing practical issues in bilingual upbringing.
Taeschner's purpose, as stated in the preface, is to address the specialist
as well as a novice, and to provide answers to bilingual parents' questions.
Stylistically the book is readable, but has a more scholarly tone than most
other books in this category. Despite its wish to serve both the
researcher and the parent, it seems more easily digestible for the
researcher. It did receive some criticism for its lack of depth in analysis
from linguistic circles, but is often referenced as an important piece of
research and clearly presented data.
The Bilingual Family Newsletter, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, England.
This is a quarterly newsletter devoted to bilingual families' issues. It
was originally edited by George Saunders from its conception in 1984.
Annual subscriptions cost $18.00.
Victim of Two Cultures: Richard Rodriquez, The Moyers Collection: a World
of Ideas, Films for the Humanities, Inc., 1994.
In this one-hour-long video Richard Rodriquez, a Fulbright scholar with
degrees from Stanford and Columbia, talks about his experience growing
up bilingual and bicultural in America. A son of Mexican immigrants, he
spoke only Spanish until he started school. His frustrations in learning
the language and being pulled between cultures resulted in strong negative
views on bilingual education and affirmative action. He has been
criticized for having forsaken his roots and praised for his intimate
understanding of the impact of language on life. This video is a thought-
provoking and revealing look at one child's experience with bilingualism
WORLD WIDE WEB:
Bilingual Families Home Page
This Web page is maintained by Cindy Kandolf, who is a bilingual parent
herself. In her words it is "intended primarily as a place for bilingual
parents to find information and resources to help them raise their
children bilingually." Contents include definitions of terminology,
discussion on myths about bilingualism and politics of bilingualism,
practical parenting help, special problems of bilingual families, and a
short bibliography. The site conveys much enthusiasm, and offers some
basic information. This can be fun for families, but offers no academic
Cindy Kandolf also administers a related mailing list biling-fam.
To receive more information (including how to subscribe) send a message
containing only the text
KidSource Online: Children and Bilingualism
(From: Let's Talk #47, Courtesy of American Speech-Language-Hearing
This page contains a rather superficial overview of bilingualism from the
point of view of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Factually it is shallow, sometimes even questionable in light of other
more substantial works in this bibliography. The speech/language therapy
point of view it provides is interesting, however.
Bialystok, Ellen, (Ed), Language Processing in Bilingual Children,
Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Australia, 1991.
A collection of papers mostly presented in the invited symposium
"Language Acquisition and Implications for Processing in Bilingual
Children" at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development
in 1987. All contributors are prominent scholars in bilingualism and
language acquisition research.
The themes of the papers include phonological processing, language
learning in social context, interdependence of first and second language
proficiency in bilinguals and metalinguistic dimension. The binding
thread here is bilingualism's connection to cognitive development. The
editor writes "The focus throughout is on the child's cognitive resources
and their role in the child's development of specific types of intentional
language-processing." This discussion stays away from positive/negative
value judgments, and focuses on research models on the process instead.
It does emphasize the immense diversity of cognitive development among
bilinguals as well as monolinguals, and calls for continued research.
In the opinion of Johanna Watzinger-Tharp published in the Bilingual
Review "The richness and sophistication of the articles will not only
encourage but serve as a model for future research in this direction. The
book should be required reading for not only scholars in the field, but also
for bilingual program administrators and teachers."
Grosjean, FranÁois, Life with two Languages: An Introduction to
Bilingualism, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1982.
FranÁois Grosjean, who is a bilingual, wrote this book as an associate
professor of Psychology at Northeastern University.
This book presents an overview of bilingualism as a social phenomenon.
Grosjean discusses national and cultural aspects of bilingualism, noting
that "bilingualism in a minority group is often synonymous to
assimilation." This provides a great historical, political and social
context to bilingualism that is only touched upon in the other books on
this list. Grosjean also presents the individual's perspective by including
personal accounts from bilingual persons. Throughout, he stresses the
"naturalness" of bilingualism to the point that lead Loraine K. Obler to
point out in her Contemporary Psychology review that Grosjean comes off
as sounding defensive. The defensiveness aside, reviewers agreed with
Obler's comment that Grosjean writes "thought-provoking, wonderful and
lucid prose."(CP, August 1983, p.600) This book is an excellent
introduction to bilingualism to anyone who is looking for the cultural and
philosophical perspective beyond parenting.
Hyltenstam, Kenneth and Loraine K. Obler, (eds.), Bilingualism Across the
Lifespan: Aspects of Acquisition, Maturity, and Loss, Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge, England, 1989.
A Collection of papers from or inspired by a Linguistic Society of America
Summer Institute 1986 conference entitled Bilingualism Across the
Lifespan. Contributors are linguists and neurolinguists.
The papers in this volume explore different aspects of bilingualism and
multiculturalism from childhood to old age. It is arranged roughly
according to the ages of focus for each paper, starting with early
childhood language development, and ending with Alzheimer's and language
loss. Thus the papers at the beginning of the book directly address
children's issues, whereas later papers are merely of more general
interest in bilingualism.
The first two papers deal directly with children. Early Differentiation of
Languages in Bilingual Children by J,rgen M. Meisel is a longitudinal study
of French-German simultaneous bilinguals, and the
interaction/independence of their cognitive & linguistic systems. Meisel
concludes, unlike earlier research, that children develop separate
syntactic systems for each language from the start. In her paper,
Variation in Children's Ability to Learn Second languages, Margaret
Humes-Bartlo uses a neuropsychological approach in comparison of
successful and unsuccessful second language learners. She finds that poor
second language learners also have deficits in their first language.
MalavÈ, Lilliam and Georges Duquette, (eds.), Language, Culture and
Cognition: a Collection of Studies in First and Second Language
Acquisition, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, England, 1991.
A collection of studies that present recent research in bilingualism and
multiculturalism and explores the relationship between native culture,
language acquisition, and cognitive development.
This collection consists of three parts. Part I is on cognitive processing
of language systems, part II deals with nature, role and effects of culture
in language acquisition, and part III considers the teaching/learning
process. The findings support an interdependency between first- and
second-language proficiency, thus endorsing additive bilingualism.
The implications of this research are strongest on bilingual education.
However, the majority of the material here covers issues that are also of
more universal concern. This is good theoretical support for raising as
well as educating bilingual children.
Meisel, J,rgen M., (ed.), Bilingual First Language Acquisition: French and
German Grammatical Development, John Benjamins Publishing,
Philadelphia, PA, 1994.
A collection of papers that reflect results obtained in a three year
research project by DUFDE (Deutsch und Franz^sisch -- Doppelter
Erstspacherwerb) studying grammatical development of simultaneously
bilingual children at the University of Hamburg.
Topics include an introduction to the DUFDE project, gender and number
morphology, finiteness, agreement and tense, and case assignment.
Reynolds, Allan G., (ed.), Bilingualism, Multiculturalism, and Second
Language Learning, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ, 1991.
A collection of papers from a conference to honor Wallace E. Lambert on
the occasion of his retirement from McGill University. All contributors
were his students or otherwise influenced by him academically, as well as
notable scholars in their own right.
One of the themes addressed throughout this volume is the traditional
question on whether bilinguals differ cognitively from monolinguals.
These authors do not endorse the traditional idea of bilingualism hindering
cognitive development, nor do they believe the more recent claim that
bilinguals develop cognitive skills superior to monolinguals. They remain
unconvinced of any causal link between the two, and thus echo the
sentiments of Taeschner and Harding on the parallels between monolingual
and multilingual children.
Some of the titles include: Attitudes and Motivation in Second Language
Learning by Robert C. Gardner, Neuropsychological Perspectives on
Bilingualism: Right, Left, and Center by Jyotsna Vaid and D. Geoffrey Hall,
Mental Representation in Bilinguals by Allan Paivio, The Cognitive
Consequences of Bilingualism by Allan G. Reynolds, and L'ontogÈnÈse de la
bilingualitÈ: Dimensions sociales et trans-culturelles by Josiane Hamers.
The discourse is sewn together by an afterword ("Two Cents Worth") by
Wallace E. Lambert, where he comments on each paper individually.
This highly acclaimed book is definitely written for an academic audience.
Parents who are interested in studying in depth theoretical thought on
bilingualism will find this interesting and thought provoking.