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Language Development Hypotheses - Term Paper Example

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r bilingualism affects intellectual development since as early as the 1920 when Saer (1923) and Smith (1923) executed numerous studies on the topic since then have attempted to determine whether monolingual and bilingual children differ in intelligence as measured by standard tests. Many of these investigators found out that bilingualism has a considerable effect on intellectual functioning. Nowadays bilingualism is tightly attached to intelligence. However, until the year 1962 due to many factors of which we can highlight racism, Bilingualism was considered as a problem see a handicap that prevents the child from adapting with his school mates and gives him an introverted character.
Early studies showing bilingual children to be “handicapped” in speech development and academic achievement happened when they analyzed children’s intelligence without taking in consideration their socio-economical status. In fact most of the studies that proved that multilingualism hampered the child’s development were made on children coming from very low class environments and therefore suffering from dissatisfaction of their physical needs. These children are logically not scholarly advanced due to the preceding circumstances that out shadow the advantages offered by being bilingual. One of the most important researchers in that matter, O Doherty, (1958) suggests that it is necessary in any consideration of the influence of bilingualism on intelligence to distinguish between two types of bilinguals, genuine bilinguals and pseudo bilinguals. The pseudo bilingual knows one language more than the other and doesn’t use the second language in communication, the genuine bilingual masters both at an early age and feels comfortable communicating with both languages. When researchers distinguished between fluent bilinguals, they found out that fluent bilingual children develop more flexible mental capacities and frequently out-perform limited bilinguals of the same national ...Show more
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Summary

Recent researches have recognized the influence of the environment on the mental development and many attempts have been made to identify factors that provide advantages in cognitive development, one of which being bilingualism. A bilingual child is a child who learns two…
Language Development Hypotheses
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