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Extra resources for A Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism (Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, No 5)

Example text

A13 What Kind of Community Support Is Valuable for Bilingualism? This question particularly concerns those who live in different types of minority language or 'language island' situations. For example, where only a small proportion of a community speak a language and the majority language is all pervading, how does one react? In a minority language situation, the danger is that the home minority language will wither and fade as the child increasingly grows stronger in the majority language by experiences outside the home and with the mass media.

There is also the pain of arguments and fights, bullying and disloyalty. In intellectual development, there are the mountaintops of learning: manipulating numbers, understanding new concepts, passing examinations. There are also the troughs of forgetting, not understanding and failing. Therefore, in bilingual language development, there are also going to be mountains and valleys, peaks and troughs. There are the joys of hearing a child speak two languages to different people, of being able to break down barriers and build bridges with their two languages, of having two worlds of experience.

The answer to the ninth question in this section provides the information about what support is important to sustain that language island. A13 What Kind of Community Support Is Valuable for Bilingualism? This question particularly concerns those who live in different types of minority language or 'language island' situations. For example, where only a small proportion of a community speak a language and the majority language is all pervading, how does one react? In a minority language situation, the danger is that the home minority language will wither and fade as the child increasingly grows stronger in the majority language by experiences outside the home and with the mass media.

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