This paper discusses the various theories that offer an in-depth understanding of bilingualism. Theories provide systematic hypothesis that enhance the understanding of such concepts. Among the theories is…
The thresh hold theory on the other hand provides a three staged development of bilingual abilities the theory explains that bilinguals achieve positive cognitive advantages after crossing the first and the second threshold (Baker, 2011) (Page# 167 lines#26-30).
Developed in 1977 by Toukomaa and Skutnabb-Kangas, the threshold theory analyses the relationship between bilingualism and cognitive development. Language is a social tool used in enhancing interactions. As such, the development of bilingualism in children is always a portrayal of their cognitive development. In analyzing bilingualism, the theory provides three stages of bilingualism development that also portrays the development of cognition in children (Baker, 2011) (page#167 lines # 24-29). Each of the three thresholds is varying levels of language competencies that also portray the cognitive development of a child. Stage 1 is a preliminary stage and children at such stages lack effective bilingual skills thus cannot communicate effectively. At such stages, children have weak cognitive development. Their inability to speak in two languages is therefore a portrayal of their underdeveloped cognitive abilities.
According to the theory, the second thresh hold is also preliminary and the children cannot communicate in two languages effectively. The theory explains that people begin realizing the benefits of bilingualism. The theory uses the example of a child with progressive prowess of bilingualism. At the first two stages, the child cannot realize the benefits of bilingualism since they cannot communicate effectively. The fact that this portrays their underdeveloped cognitive prowess further complicates the situation. Such a child cannot for example use language to enhance learning in school. As such, his inability in bilingualism affects his academic development since such a student cannot learn effectively. After crossing the second threshold, the child ...
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