BILINGUAL BRAIN FOR EDUCATION

 

Further, early schooling in two languages simultaneously affords young bilingual children a reading advantage and may also dilutes the negative effect of low socioeconomic status on literacy. Whether knowledge of brain functions and learning can be used to benefit education has been a topic of great controversy. This has an understandable worry in the education community that research on brain function is not relevant to education. Be it in monolinguals or bilinguals, in educational neuroscience has the fullest potential to fundamentally advance contemporary educational policy and practice over the past decade. it had been assumed that young children from non majority language homes and cultural backgrounds must be given a strong base in one language (e.g., English) before receiving instruction in their other language (e.g., Spanish), or vice versa. For fear that the child’s home language might disrupt full acquisition of the other majority language. Note that similar logic underlies why most monolingual children in the United States public schools are not introduced to a ‘‘foreign’’ or second language until high school.

In focusing our beacon on language learning and reading in young bilinguals as compared to monolinguals, it has seen a considerable controversy in education over the past 50 years. By the research, it was found that a early (before age 5) bilingual language exposure is optimal for dual language development and dual language mastery. At the same time, those bilingual children who were first raised monolingual from birth and who were then exposed to a new language beginning from ages 3, 5, 7, to 9 years did achieve the morphological and syntactic fundamentals of the new language. within their first year of exposure. Importantly , it  was found that the rapid acquisition of new language fundamentals possible only when three key factors occurred: Exposure to the new language had to be extensive, systematic, and across multiple contexts. Bilingual children exposed to two languages from birth achieved their linguistic milestones in each of their languages at the same time and, crucially, at the same time as monolinguals. Bilingual children exposed to their new language between 2 and 9 years of age exhibited ‘‘stage-like’’ language development in their new language. Importantly, introduction of the new language did not ‘‘damage’’ or ‘‘contaminate’’ the home language of the child.

Our behavioural studies sought to investigate a variety of scientific and educationally important questions involving the optimal age of first bilingual language exposure, how long it takes for bilingual children to achieve mastery in a new language depending on the age of first bilingual language exposure and the type of language learning environment. The development of linguistic milestones in bilingual children, because it is important to know what constitutes ‘‘normal’ ’language acquisition in a bilingual child as compared to widely known monolingual norms. The normal/typical stages of bilingual language development, which helps teachers identify when a bilingual child is truly ‘‘language delayed’’ because of a language impairment versus simply undergoing the normal/typical sequence of bilingual language development. The impact of the introduction of a new language on a child’s first/home language, which addresses the important educational question of language attrition; does learning a new language harm the old?

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