ERIC Number: ED408843
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Educational Implications of Early Bilingualism: A Review of Recent Results.
Oller, D. Kimbrough; And Others
At the University of Miami, the Bilingual Study Group has been evaluating linguistic and academic performance of children from a broad spectrum of socioeconomic status who appear to be well-matched across bilingual and monolingual groups. Because the studies vary in the degree of exposure to English and Spanish among bilingual subjects who are compared with monolinguals, the outcomes are complex. On the whole, research results emphasize advantages of bilingualism because they show that in most cases of appropriate comparison, children learning two languages simultaneously acquire the ability to function effectively in two cultures. Competent function in two languages also commonly occurs with sequential learners, children who learn one language at home (L1) and begin to acquire a second language (L2) early in life. This research and research from other laboratories suggest that when poor linguistic or academic performance does occur in bilinguals, it may be associated with what has been subtractive sequential learning, a circumstance where L2 largely replaces L1; knowledge of L1 is allowed to wane, and the learner may never acquire native competence in L2. A preferable approach is one in which competence in L1 is maintained while L2 is acquired. (Author/MSE)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Age Differences, Bilingualism, Elementary Education, English (Second Language), Higher Education, Language Maintenance, Language Research, Language Role, Language Skill Attrition, Monolingualism, Preschool Education, Second Language Learning, Spanish Speaking, Student Characteristics
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A