Steinberg & Sciarini 2008

Steinberg & Sciarini 2008
Chapter 8
Bilingualism, intelligence, transfer,
and learning strategies
Varieties of bilingualism
language “can be acquired through a variety
of modalities (sound (speaking), sight
(writing), visual motion (signs)).
Two spoken languages, two sign languages,
spoken German, Japanese sign language,
written Chinese and spoken Korean, etc.
(early half of the 20th century)
(a) The learning of the second language
would ‘retard’ or negatively influence
the learning of the native language.
(b)It would intellectually ‘retard the
development of thinking and of such
cognitive capacities as math and
Starting in the 1960s…
(a) Attitudes towards foreign languages changed
significantly to the positive.
(b) Positive reports:
- English immersion program in Japan (Bostwick, 1999)
found no negative effects.
- Lambert (1962) found greater mental flexibility and
abstract thought in bilinguals.
- Bain and Yu (1980) found that the bilinguals were
superior to the monolinguals. (pp. 163-4)
(c)Negative reports:
- Goddard (1917) found that less than half of the adult
immigrants could provide only 60 words on the word
fluency portion of the test. (p. 164)
- Smith (1939) argued that bilingualism caused
regardation in language development of bilinguals in
Hawaii who had many more errors in their English
speech than White monolinguals in Iowa. (p. 162)
(a) Sequential and simultaneous learning
sequential: second language being
learned later at school
simultaneous: exposed to two
languages in the home at the same time
Sequential learning
Four common stages:
(a) Silent period: trying to use the home
language outside home, realizing that
others do not understand, so becoming
(b)Abandonment of home language
(c) Using second and home language in a
similar way
(d)Producing grammatical utterances
Simultaneous learning
(a) One person (1P) – one language (1L)
e.g., mother (Japanese)
father (Korean)
(b)1P – 2L
e.g., mother (Japanese/English)
father (Japanese/English)
(c) (1P-1L) x 3 (e.g., Japanese mother, French
father, and Korean babysitter)
Conclusion: 1P – 1L is better
The transfer effect
-similarity relationship between L1 and L2
will determine the learning rate (p. 168)
(e.g., English vs. French vs. Spanish, etc.) in
terms of vocabulary, pronunciation, syntax,
etc. (Ringbom, 1978). (p. 169)
-the greater the similarity between two
languages in terms of their syntax,
vocabulary, and sound system, the more
rapid the rate of acquisition in L1 and L2.
Facilitation among different
-facilitation occurs even between very
different languages.
-commonality between different languages
(a) Words have a set of morphemes.
(b)Basic constituents (N, V, Adj, etc.) must
be ordered in some way.
(c) Words and sentences represent objects,
ideas, situation, and events.
Strategies for L2 production
-errors caused by interference from L1
“Now Tom happy is” (by a Japanese)
-errors by L2 strategy
“Afterwards they ate the dinner.”
Strategies for a better L2 learner
(a)verification: check to see if their (learners’)
hypotheses about L2 are correct
(b)Inductive processing: creating hypotheses
about L2 based on L1 and L2
(c) Deductive reasoning: using general logic in
problem solving
(d)Practice: repetition, rehearsal, imitation
(e)Memorization: repetitions to store and
(f) Monitoring: monitoring errors and how one’s
message is received by the listener.

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