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The Cost of Language Switch of Bilinguals - Essay Example

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The Cost of Language Switch of Bilinguals

This paper culminates in form of a discussion and suggestions to the educators and for the bodies of knowledge covering the entirety of the spectrum of stakeholders in the language learning and acquisition and domains particularly for bilinguals
Bilingual speakers normally have to shift across the two languages in their communication activity and particularly in speech production. The fundamental fact here is that the bilinguals have to separate their two languages and settle for the appropriate lexical alternative; one language for effective communication purposes. Abutalebi J et al 2007) note that in the sense of the foregoing, the process entails that the bilinguals have to be possession of effective neural mechanisms that will suffice to facilitate smooth switching and to avert the highly likely chances of interference or the probable competition between the two language alternatives.
This is particularly so considering the fact that the first and second languages both posses protruding neuro-anatomical bases as illuminated by the topical neuro-imaging researches. Bilinguals have to possess feasible lexical selection. This highlights the dynamics that characterise the process in which bilinguals have to go through in the techniques of switching between languages. The switch demands various neural mechanisms and facilities which have been illumined by various researches and propounded models. The broad range of varying challenges or costs that a bilingual incurs in the process of switching between languages demands a deeper exploration. The process evidently involves various psychological transitions and processes which will be explored in this study.
Literature Review
The concern and keen interest around the nature of costs and processes entailed in the switch between languages by bilinguals has received overwhelming contributions from various researchers, scholars and professionals. The studies, experimentations and researches conducted shed valuable light on the nitty-gritties of the language switching process of the bilinguals.
Rodriguez-Fornells et al (2002) have presented that the processes of language switching for bilinguals can be accomplished on the basis and facilities of effective neural mechanism that will suffice to prevent distortion and interference and even the projected tendency of competition involving the two languages of the bilingual. The scholars have reinforced that the foregoing is particularly so in view of the fact that the first and second languages have both overlapping neuro-anatomical foundations that have been enunciated in researches focused on neuroimaging.

In the contributions made by Costa et al., 1999; (2004) there is a presentation and outline of two salient models. The scholars have proposed two kinds of neuro-cognitive theories and frameworks on the matter of lexical selection mechanisms. One of the model types takes a thrust articulating that in the language switching processes only words in a particular language system are activated. In this framework the researchers ...Show more


The process of language learning and acquisition is a complex and psychologically taxing process to multi-languages speakers. It must be expected that language switching presents towering challenges which can be classified in various categories that represent the nature of the costs; either conceptually abstract or concrete; that bilinguals have to incur in the process of switching languages…
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The Cost of Language Switch of Bilinguals essay example
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