ERIC Number: ED228871
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Construction of Meaning in a Second Language: The Polemics of Family and School.
Walsh, Catherine E.
Sociocultural and psychological processes are involved in a person's acquisition of meaning. In the case of the Spanish speaking child who is learning English in the United States in a school environment and who lives in a Spanish speaking environment at home, there is a conflict of perspectives on reality. The acquisition of new culture and language has as much potential for bringing psychological stress and destruction of the child's sense of well being as it does for creating a bilingual/bicultural individual. Preliminary data from a study in progress, along with examples, clarify the discussion of the differential effect of home and school on the Puerto Rican child's semantic system in each language and culture. The question is whether, in the case of the Hispanic, the English and Spanish language systems depict a reality which is in coexistence or in conflict with the surrounding world. It seems that, as acquisition progresses, context begins to take precedence over language of presentation. The child will begin to rely on the English language context to derive meaning, and may begin to acquire the dominant culture's opinions of the minority group to which the child belongs. (Author/AMH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Revised version of a paper presented at the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (7th, Boston, MA, October 8-10, 1982).