Bilingualism and Multiliteracies in Australia Essay
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This essay will demonstrate the research that is implemented on children with bilingual ability; discussing three main issues in bilingualism which is: the maintaining children’s first language, social and cognitive benefits, also why bilingualism should be in cooperated into school programming/curriculum. Bilingualism can be defined as the ability to speak and/or write in two languages. In Australia English is the main language although in 1996, statistics show that 15% (2.5 million people) of the Australian population communicate in a language other than English at home and 42% of the population is born overseas (Australian Bureau Statistics, 1996). Most recently there are around 22 million Australians that speak in approximately 400…show more content… It then suggests that parents should maintain their home language with their children as learning their first language at home can benefit the child by making it easier for them to learn and better understand basic grammatical and linguistic rules of a second language. This also prevents the possibility for the child to lose the ability to speak their home language, as it should be supported and consolidated at home by the family.
Respecting and recognising children’s bilingual abilities can be socially and cognitively beneficial for young children. Vygotsky (as cited in Garton, 1992) main theory is that speech is derived from social influences then advocates cognitive and linguistic development although, Gee (1996) argues that the assimilation of language is contextual to social, cultural and historical backgrounds this is called ‘sociocultural’; which influences a deeper and meaningful understanding of language. Gee’s argument conceives a more contemporary and deeper understanding for bilingual children’s learning of literacy to be at a social and cognitive integration. Barratt-Pugh (2000) argues the benefits supporting home language in early childhood setting can strengthen children’s self-concept, confidence, and a positive sense of identity. Children are