ERIC Number: ED184366
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
"Subtractive" Bilingualism in Northern Belize.
Rubinstein, Robert A.
"Subtractive" bilingualism in Northern Belize is analyzed based on an extension of a model by Wallace Lambert. The impact of English language instruction on Spanish speaking children in Corozal Town, the northernmost urban center in the British colony of Belize, Central America, is described. This description extends an earlier account of education and bilingualism there (Rubinstein, 1979) and seeks to make explicit the links between social and cognitive processes in the development of Spanish-English bilingualism in Corozal Town. Lambert's distinction between additive and subtractive bilingualism is considered, and an attempt is made to distinguish between different types of subtractive bilingualism, the processes that underlie them, and the environmental conditions in which each may occur. A random sample of 56 Spanish speaking children between the ages of 5 and 17 was divided into two groups stratified by age and sex. One group was tested and interviewed in Spanish, and the other was tested and interviewed in English. It is concluded that the learning of English by Spanish speaking children in Corozal Town is socially subtractive because of the milieu in which it occurs: English is often taught with the intention that it replace students' first language (not that it supplements it), and this view is shared by many adults and children. The cognitive enhancement view of bilingualism does not recognize that the social setting of the bilingual experience may have cognitive consequences. (SW)
Descriptors: Bilingual Students, Bilingualism, Cognitive Development, Cultural Influences, English (Second Language), Intelligence, Sociocultural Patterns, Sociolinguistics, Spanish, Spanish Speaking
The University of Chicago, 5801 S. Ellis Avenue, Room 601, Chicago, IL 60615
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Belize; Central America
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (Cincinnati, OH, November 27-December 1, 1979).