NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED171150
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Sep
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Bilingualism in a Two-Year-Old Child.
Hoffmann, Charlotte; Ariza, Francisco
Infant bilingualism can be defined as a child being exposed to two or more languages from birth. Because of the dearth of first-hand research on the effect of a bilingual environment on a child's speaking patterns, parents from multilingual backgrounds raised their daughter in a bilingual environment, German and Spanish, in England. They speak to her consistently in their respective native languages without any mixing whatsoever: the mother in German, the father in Spanish, and they speak Spanish to each other. At the age of two, when responding to the speaker of one or the other language, the daughter maintains the two languages consistently in vocabulary and grammar, clearly associating each language with a different person, and distinguishing between the languages in reference. Normally, there is no linguistic interference, but in cases where there is, invariably it is clear that she does not know or remember the German or Spanish word needed. It appears that she has acquired the phonological system of both languages in essentially the same way, by about the same age, and to the same standards of achievement as monolingual German and Spanish speaking children. She seems to see a clear distinction in cultural contexts, which has been reinforced by trips abroad. It is hoped that she will acquire English in school to the extent that it will be her dominant language, although all efforts will be made to reinforce her first two languages, German and Spanish. The parents feel that as a child with a multilingual heritage, she will not be harmed, but rather will benefit through acquiring two, or even three, languages at the same time. (MHP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the British Association for Applied Linguistics Annual Meeting (11th, Cardiff, Wales, September 9-11, 1978)