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Policy and practice in the education of bilingual children - Essay Example

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This paper will evaluate the competing views of the relationship between multilingualism or bilingualism and cognition, subject based practical skills, and thinking skills as well as identify theories and strategies capable of supporting education of bilingualism children. …
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Policy and practice in the education of bilingual children
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Policy and practice in the education of bilingual children

The processing of cognition has consequences that come about due to bilingualism or multilingualism. Therefore, all perennial questions concerning bilingualism revolve around the relationship and connection between two different languages in the same mind. Most tutors tend to wonder whether if multilingualism has two forms of separate systems responsible for language processing or it is a single combined system. Ideally, issues regarding whether one language aids or interferes with the other are not clear but this paper will consider addressing this issue with relevance to cognition. The complexity of the system consisting of two languages may have either losses or benefits on some areas rather than mind. This means that monolinguals and bilinguals may think differently.
Evaluation of the competitive views
Studies concerning psychology reveal that the term “cognitive” is becoming a confusing element when discussing this topic. With reference to linguists, linguistics is an arm of cognitive psychology. This is because, it concerns human mind. However, you should be able to note that the faculty of language is entirely different from the rest of the faculties that concern human mind. This reveals that, the faculty of language is distinct from cognition. Furthermore, linguistics differentiates the abstract of knowledge commonly referred to as “competence” and the process of “cognition” that facilitates the actual comprehension and production of a speech often termed as the “performance”. Often, psychologists explore the aspects concerning the relationship between the rest of the human mind (cognition) and language. Interestingly, some models related to language competence such as the parameter setting tend to treat language as a separate knack of human mind. Further, these models seek to develop a difference wherein language competence becomes a distinct aspect from language performance (Harris, 2005:385). Fact-findings tell us that the manner in which an individual defines the relationship between cognitive processing and bilingualism depends on the approach and the ideology of the person asking the question. The common general manner in which people ask this question uses the normal approach whereby it is standard for people to be “monolinguals” (Heaton, Taylor, and Manly, 2003:185). Supposedly, this approach lies on the norm that human beings should only know one language but deviating from a single language comes with a cost. Contrary to this approach is the multilingualism view, which views that human beings have knowledge of more than one language (Lorentz, 2008:77). In this arena, the monolingual approach has deficiencies since it lacks the natural human heritage whereby people know more than a single language. What is unclear is the overall level of loss that monolinguals have for having knowledge of only one language as well as in their remaining mental processes (Hammers and Blanc, 2003:101). Evaluation of the competing views of the relationship between bilingualism or multilingualism and cognition show that people who know more than one language, possess deficiencies in knowledge and understand in their second language (Panton, 2003:39). Research findings make it clear that, perhaps, it is blindingly obvious in such cases that, people who use their second language are less efficient in it (Harris, 2005:388). While compared to monolinguals, monolinguals are more critical and efficient in their native languages since their ... Read More
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