Multidimensional Effects Of Bilingualism

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Globalization has increased cross culture population movements, which has resulted in a growing number of multicultural societies, multilingual families, and children who identify as belonging to more than one culture (Diamond, Carlson, & Beck, 2005). Psychologists, linguists, and cognitive neuroscientists have conducted considerable research to distinguish how learning, understanding, and speaking language contribute to an individual’s compatibility with his or her environment (Bialystok, 2010). Past research on language has focused primarily on individuals who speak one language (Yow & Li, 2015); however, as diversity increases over time, many individuals speak two or more languages (Bunge & Zelazo, 2002). This reality has prompted many…show more content…
1). Despite the dictionary definition, the definition of bilingualism was identified as ambiguous and lacked an operational definition (Baker, 2001; Cummins, 1976; Macnamara, 1967). Consequently, defining who is or is not bilingual remained disputable between linguists and researchers. However, several hypotheses were proposed. In the early 1970s, the balance theory of bilingualism was widely accepted. The balance theory explained two languages exist together in a balance, the second language increasing at the expense of the first (Macnamara, 1967). For example, monolingual individuals had one well-filled language balloon in the brain whereas bilinguals would have had two half filled language balloons (Cummins, 1976; Macnamara, 1967). Cummins (1976) expanded on the balance theory and proposed the Separate Underlying Proficiency Model indicating that two languages function separately with restricting amounts of room and without transferring. Since the 1970s, research has presented that adequate neurological resources, cognitive load in the brain, and specific characteristics of multiple languages transfer readily and are interactive (Alatis, 1980). Baker (2001) demonstrated the balance theory of bilingualism with an image of two separate icebergs joined at the base, suggesting ideas originated from a common source when utilizing two or

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