Families Learn Together: Reconceptualizing Linguistic Diversity as a Resource
- 314 Downloads
While a growing number of diverse children are entering U.S. schools, misconceptions remain regarding language acquisition. Analysis of weekly interactions in an urban children’s playgroup in the South reveals how the concept of language diversity as a deficit is still widespread. Mothers of young children still believed that efforts to learn multiple languages diminish a child’s ability to learn other things. Conversely, research points to multilingualism as a resource rather than a deficit. Findings indicate that interactions among mothers and children, mediated by the researcher, combined with observations of one child’s bilingual development allowed mothers and young children to rethink their beliefs regarding linguistic diversity. They began recognizing that bilingualism/multilingualism adds to the lives of all children.
Keywordsfamilies children mothers linguistic diversity cultural diversity interactions play language acquisition culture bilingualism multilingualism language learners.
- Baker C., (2000). A parents’ and teachers’ guide to bilingualism Multilingual Matters Ltd. Philadelphia, PAGoogle Scholar
- Bruner J., (1983). Child’s talk: Learning to use language W. W. Norton & Company New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Hamers J. F., (2000). Bilinguality and bilingualism Cambridge University Press Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
- Jespersen O., (1922). Language, its nature, development and origin Allen and Unwin London, UKGoogle Scholar
- Krashen S., (1999). Condemned without a trial: Bogus arguments against bilingual education Heinemann Portsmouth, NHGoogle Scholar
- Lambert W. E., (1990). Persistent issues in bilingualism. In Harley B., Allen P., Cummins J., Swain M., eds. The development of second language proficiency Cambridge University Press Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
- Matlin M. W., (2003). Cognition John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJGoogle Scholar
- NAEYC & NAECS/SDE (2004). Where we stand: On curriculum, assessment, and program evaluation Young Children 59(1): 51–53Google Scholar
- Santos R. M., (2004). Ensuring culturally and linguistically appropriate assessment of young children Young Children 59(1): 48–50Google Scholar
- The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (2005). Children in immigrant families, April 28, 2005 http://www.healthinschools.org/focus/2005/no1.htmGoogle Scholar
- Tse L., (2001). “Why don’t they learn English?” Separating fact from fallacy in the U.S. language debate Teacher’s College Press New YorkGoogle Scholar