my new profile use this one.jpgKia Ora ra; Malo e lelei; 问候; Talofa lava; बधाई ; Cyfarchion; 인사; Fakalofa lahi atu; Ni hao ma;Greetings

If you are reading this page you have some interest in Bilingualism and what I propose to do here is show how those who are bilingual or multilingual have a rich resource for living and learning. I also hope to add some value to your understanding and hopefully enrich your own experience of either being bilingual or engaging with others who are. Many of the principles talked about here have a general application but a majority of what is set out here will be influenced by the fact that I am an educator who is passionate about helping students become successful learners. I have put down some of the key ideas I have been learning about in a relatively straightforward format so as to appeal to a wide audience. The links on the Further Viewing and Reading page will take you to a more detailed and academic approach to the subject. The new light shed on bilingualism forces a review of classroom practice and some of the implications for teaching and learning will also be noted..
Shedding Light on Bilingualism

A simple definition
Using two languages in some proportion for the purpose of learning by students who have ability in one language and are becoming skilled in the other. For the purposes of this wiki the ideas apply equally to students who have more than two languages at their disposal.

Urban Myth or Bilingual Legend
To see where you stand on the 'to be or not to be bilingual' issue have a look at the following statements and decide whether they are true or false.


Students cannot learn in a language they do not understand

The more exposure students have to English the more they will achieve in English

Our ability (or lack of ability) to acquire knowledge in a second language is not influenced to any great extent by the social and cultural world we live in but is something that is innate and progresses in stages.

Bilinguals are held back in their academic progress by working in two or more languages.

If you answered 'True' to any of these you would be thinking logically and very much along the lines of how bilingualism has been viewed traditionally ( and - dare I say it - how I have always thought).

In fact these statements do not match up to the results obtained by more recent research as is discussed on the following pages. You can click on the statement to go to the page where it is looked at in detail or use the navigation bar on the left hand side.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions by clicking on the discussion tab at the top of this page or any page you are reading, and either reply to a post or add a new one. I don't even begin to suggest I have all the answers but hopefully together we can find some of them and all be enriched by the shared knowledge. The ideas put forward here will be backed by research done by others as per the footnotes and there is a Further Viewing and Reading page which you could use to start your own inquiry into Bilingualism.