Bilingualism : A Culturally And Culturally Diverse Country Essay

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New Zealand has recently been identified as a culturally and linguistically super-diverse country (Spoonley & Bedford, 2012). This means many children of our country will be introduced to two or more languages from birth and will develop proficiency in these languages following their significant exposure to both. This is referred to as simultaneous bilingualism (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2004). There are many misconceptions about simultaneous bilingualism that are believed to be persistent in society, even within professional groups including teachers, doctors and speech-language therapists (Hamers & Blanc, 2000; King & Fogle, 2006). This is hazardous because these professionals are often providing advice to parents which may influence their decision to raise their child bilingually (Hamers & Blanc, 2000). The most common misconceptions surround the cognitive impacts of bilingualism, the difficulties associated with dual language learning, as well as its relation to and impact upon language development and delay (King & Fogle, 2006). It is important to understand these misconceptions and the opposing evidence. This is because the misguided attribution of any impartment to a child’s bilingualism may encourage the abandonment of a heritage language; therefore limiting cultural diversity and identity (Genesee, 2010).
The first and one of the most heavily researched issues in dual language development is the relationship between bilingualism and cognition.

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