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Hardcover | $55.00 Short | £37.95 | ISBN: 9780262016391 | 416 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 18 b&w illus., 3 tables| November 2011
 
Ebook | $39.00 Short | ISBN: 9780262299275 | 416 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 18 b&w illus., 3 tables| November 2011
 

Bilingual Competence and Bilingual Proficiency in Child Development

Overview

When two or more languages are part of a child's world, we are presented with a rich opportunity to learn something about language in general and about how the mind works. In this book, Norbert Francis examines the development of bilingual proficiency and the different kinds of competence that come together in making up its component parts. In particular, he explores problems of language ability when children use two languages for tasks related to schooling, especially in learning how to read and write. He considers both broader research issues and findings from an ongoing investigation of child bilingualism in an indigenous language–speaking community in Mexico. This special sociolinguistic context allows for a unique perspective on some of the central themes of bilingualism research today, including the distinction between competence and proficiency, modularity, and the Poverty of Stimulus problem.

Francis proposes that competence (knowledge) should be considered as an integral component of proficiency (ability) rather than something separate and apart, arguing that this approach allows for a more inclusive assessment of research findings from diverse fields of study. The bilingual indigenous language project illustrates how the concepts of modularity and the competence-proficiency distinction in particular might be applied to problems of language learning and literacy.

Few investigations of indigenous language and culture approach bilingual research problems from a cognitive science perspective. By suggesting connections to broader cognitive and linguistic issues, Francis points the way to further research along these lines.

About the Author

Norbert Francis is Professor of Bilingual and Multicultural Education in the College of Education at Northern Arizona University.

Table of Contents

  • Bilingual Competence and Bilingual Proficiency in Child Development
  • Bilingual Competence and Bilingual Proficiency in Child Development
  • Norbert Francis
  • The MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • London, England
  • ©
  • 2012
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.
  • For information about special quantity discounts, please email special_sales@mitpress.mit.edu
  • This book was set in Sabon by Toppan Best-set Premedia Limited. Printed and bound in the United States of America.
  • Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
  • Francis, Norbert.
  • Bilingual competence and bilingual proficiency in child development / Norbert Francis.
  •  p. cm.
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • ISBN 978-0-262-01639-1 (alk. paper)
  • 1. Bilingualism in children. 2. Language acquisition. 3. Competence and performance (Linguistics)  I. Title.
  • P115.2.F73 2012
  • 404′.2083—dc22
  • 2011010003
  • 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  • Contents
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • 1 Introduction:
  • The Problem of Language Acquisition When There Are Two 1
  • 1.1 Bilingual Proficiency and Bilingual Competence 3
  • 1.2 Knowledge That Outstrips Experience 10
  • 1.3 Modularity 11
  • 1.4 A Study of Indigenous-Language Bilingualism in Mexico 16
  • 1.5 Looking Ahead: Overview of the Chapters 20
  • 2 Bilingualism in School 25
  • 2.1 When Second Language Learning Is Not Optional 27
  • 2.2 Bilingualism, Diglossia, and Literacy 29
  • 2.3 A Componential Approach to Language Ability Solves a Practical Problem in Second Language Learning 33
  • 2.4 New Democracy in South Africa: The Challenge of a Multilingual Language Policy 35
  • 2.5 A Possible Counterexample from North Africa 38
  • 2.6 Program Design Based on a Concept from Sociolinguistics 44
  • 3 The Debate on the Nature of Bilingual Proficiency:
  • Distinguishing between Different Kinds of Language Ability 49
  • 3.1 First Language and Second Language in Literacy Learning 51
  • 3.2 Concepts of Bilingual Proficiency: Background to the Debate 53
  • 3.3 A Proposed Modification of Cummins’s Model 56
  • 3.4 Literacy Learning at the San Isidro Bilingual School: A Follow-Up Study 61
  • 3.5 Comparing Results from Both Languages 63
  • 3.6 Using the New Model to Describe Different Kinds of Interdependence 68
  • 3.7 Components and Connections 76
  • 4 Componential Approaches to the Study of Language Proficiency 79
  • 4.1 Vygotsky and Luria: The Concept of “Inner Speech” 81
  • 4.2 Metacognition: Language at the Service of Higher-Order Thinking 85
  • 4.3 Compartmentalization of the Bilingual Mind 88
  • 4.4 Bilingualism as a Showcase for the Internal Diversity of Language Proficiency 94
  • 4.5 Advancing the Research Program on Bilingualism: The Need for Clarity and Reflection 101
  • 5 Research on the Components of Bilingual Proficiency 107
  • 5.1 Maximum Imbalance in Bilingualism 109
  • 5.2 Separation of the Linguistic Subsystems 115
  • 5.3 How Bilingual Speech Constitutes Evidence of Language Separation 118
  • 5.4 Contradictions of an Integrativist Approach 124
  • 5.5 A Bilingual Version of the Tripartite Parallel Architecture 125
  • 5.6 More Opportunities for Research on Uneven Development 132
  • 6 The Critical Period, Access to Universal Grammar in First and Second Language, and Language Attrition 141
  • 6.1 Overview of the Chapter 142
  • 6.2 The Concept of Language Attrition 144
  • 6.3 What the Research Says about First Language Attrition 146
  • 6.4 The Critical Period Hypothesis 151
  • 6.5 Is Second Language Competence Universal Grammar– Constrained? 159
  • 6.6 Acquisition and Learning in the Second Language 166
  • 6.7 A Wider Discussion: Applying Concepts to New Research 171
  • 7 An Analysis of Academic Language Proficiency 177
  • 7.1 Secondary Discourse Ability + Metalinguistic Awareness 179
  • 7.2 The Development of Narrativization and Levels of Narrative Ability 183
  • 7.3 Language Development—Grammar 187
  • 7.4 Access to Shared Academic Proficiencies in Biliteracy 192
  • 7.5 Linking Secondary Discourse Ability and Metalinguistic Awareness at the Discourse, Sentence, and Word Levels 197
  • 8 Metalinguistic Awareness, Bilingualism, and Writing 203
  • 8.1 Metalinguistic Development and Bilingualism 204
  • 8.2 Metalinguistic Awareness in Literacy and Second Language Learning 206
  • 8.3 A Study of Children’s Perceptions of Focus on Form 207
  • 8.4 Children’s Development of a Reflective Posture toward Writing: Results from Spanish 210
  • 8.5 Metalinguistic Awareness as a Component of Literacy Ability—Writing in Particular 213
  • 8.6 Possible Implications for Teaching Writing Skills 217
  • 8.7 Children’s Development of a Reflective Posture toward Writing: Results from Nahuatl 218
  • 8.8 The Revision/Correction Assessment in Nahuatl 220
  • 8.9 A Comparison of Performance between the Languages 222
  • 8.10 Internal Resources and External Factors 223
  • 8.11 Applying Different Kinds of Knowledge in Literacy Development 227
  • 9 Metalinguistic Awareness, Bilingualism, and Reading 231
  • 9.1 Modular Approaches to the Study of Reading 232
  • 9.2 A Study of Focus on Form in Reading 234
  • 9.3 The Development of a Reflective Posture toward Reading Comprehension 237
  • 9.4 One Way in Which Children Learn to Use Context Strategically 240
  • 9.5 Future Research on Literacy Learning, Metalinguistic Awareness, and Bilingualism 244
  • 9.6 Does the Use of Context Contradict Modularity in Reading? 247
  • 10 Conclusion: Results and Prospects 253
  • 10.1 Parts to Whole: What’s Natural and What’s Unnatural in Language Learning? 254
  • 10.2 Versions of Modularity and Pending Questions in Bilingual Research 266
  • 10.3 Language Diversity, Cognition, and Culture 275
  • Appendix 1 Assessment of Metalinguistic Awareness Related to Bilingualism 281
  • Appendix 2 Indices of Additive Bilingualism 289
  • Appendix 3 Early Childhood Borrowing and Codeswitching 295
  • Appendix 4 Writing Samples, including the Assessment of Revision/Correction 307
  • Glossary 313
  • Notes 325
  • References 343
  • Index 383

Endorsements

"This exceptional book offers a wealth of information on crucial aspects of bilingualism. It combines a very careful examination of theoretical notions such as bilingual competence, bilingual proficiency, literacy and metalinguistic awareness with in-depth analyses of empirical data. It is an invaluable read for researchers in the fields of language acquisition, bilingual development, and language education as well as for language planners and educational authorities in areas that serve minority bilingual populations."—Liliana Sánchez, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Rutgers University

"Based on years of research on bilingual children in the Mexican countryside, Norbert Francis draws a much larger picture in this comprehensive overview. He successfully bridges the gap between the growing theoretical literature on bilingual child development and the concerns of educators and policy makers."—Pieter Muysken, Professor, Radboud University Nijmegen