Bilingualism In Bilingual Children

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According to De Houwer (1999), attitudes can be described on the continuum from negative, through neutral to positive (De Houwer 1999: 86). First, attitudes towards (early child) bilingualism and a particular language are discussed according to tis logics. Those attitudes might be claimed to be driving forces for promoting early child bilingualism. In the literature, attitudes towards bilingualism in general are intertwined with the practical benefits that parents see in bilingualism. In studies carried out by Vera (2011), Mosty et al. (2013), Hu et al. (2014), Lee et al. (2015) parents of bilingual children mention the following benefits of bilingualism: The improvement of some cognitive abilities (metacompetence, abstract thinking), the…show more content…
The most frequent reasons for the transmission of a minority language given by the parents in the above enumerated studies are the role of the language for the identity and the feeling of belonging to a community, communication with relatives who reside in the same country or who stayed in the country of origin, possible return to the country of origin, the better understanding of culture, costumes, values and norms, the preservation of religion. When parents are asked to reason their choice of bilingual fostering, they refer to its role for the personality and identity of a concrete (in other words, their own) child and communication within a definite family. This part of parental attitudes is about an emotional constituent…show more content…
The majority of the parents are preoccupied with the fact children’s speech development may be delayed and children may confuse both languages. Furthermore, some parents believe that children might feel uncomfortable and even stressed during the first time at a day-care centre or school if they are not proficient enough in the majority language. This causes worries on the behalf of parents who probably cannot help them in such a situation. To avoid such stressful encounters, a minority language speaking parent in an exogamous family might prefer the child learning the majority language first, for example (Mosty et al. 2013: 12). In this case, a negative attitude is spoken about: Parents are strongly convinced that children would never be able to learn neither of the languages properly or that knowing a certain language can lead to some inconveniences in the children’s

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