Dual Language Learners Are Children Learning Two Or More

1148 WordsApr 17, 20175 Pages
Dual language learners are children learning two or more languages at the same time, as well as those learning a second language while continuing to develop their first (or home) language (Dual language learning, 2008). The number of children being raised in bilingual homes is large and growing, however the mechanism of language development in children from bilingual homes is not well described or understood (Hoff et al., 2011). A large body of research has refuted the opinion that dual language input may confuse children, and other research indicates that children exposed to two languages can distinguish those languages from infancy, learn two phonological systems, two vocabularies and two grammars (Kova´cs & Mehler, 2009a; Petitto,…show more content…
The goals for students in dual language education programs include high levels of bilingualism and biliteracy, academic achievement, and cross-cultural competence for all students (Lindholm-Leary, 2012). Dual language immersion programs integrate language and academic content instruction in English and a partner language to promote bilingualism and biliteracy. Heritage languages refer to the languages spoken by immigrants and their children and has recently come to be used broadly by those concerned about the study, maintenance, and revitalization of non-English languages in the United States (Montrul, 2012). Heritage language learners contain a heterogeneous group ranging from fluent native speakers to non-speakers who may be generations removed but who may feel culturally connected to a language (Deusen-Scholl, 2003). A heritage language program is any language development program that is designed or tailored to address the needs of heritage language learners, and heritage language programs may be at any level or setting and vary in terms of their approaches to teaching, populations they serve, and other factors (Chao, 1997). Heritage language programs have three major educational contexts: community-based program, K-12, and higher education. Heritage language schools are often created out of a community’s desire to pass on their language and culture from one generation to the next in order to maintain connections within families and communities
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