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Volume :6 Issue : 22 1986      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Bilingualism and individuals' Cognitive and Emotional Development Issues and Answers

Auther : Mohammad Rifky Eassa

Since the early 1940s considerable research literature has developed covering various aspects of bilingualism. Much of this research has centered round the impact of bilingalism on intellectual, academic as well as emtional development of bilingual individuals. Others have been mainly concerned with the influence of being bilingual on the development of native tongue. The bulk of this research had cosistently shown that bilingualism is determinal effect and always stressed deficit dimensions in those aspects of development.

By the tun of the decade, the debate on bilingualism has taken a different trend. The pessimistic view has been outwighed by optimistic orientations,. Studies done in North America and some other areas have shown that superiority of the monolinguals is far from being real, or at most is not attributed to the state of beig monoligual, these findings have further complicated rather than clarified the issue. Guiding lights have come from a cognitive perspective relating language development (in general) to cognitive development. Interaction between the two shares of development is worth consideration especially in relation to the likelihood of exploiting cognitive operations in the bilingual’s language development, and of using the bilingual’s mechanisms to resolve the interference between the two languages for the promotion of cognitive abilities.

The paper tackles two areas in bilingualism. The first area revolves around the relationship between bilingualism and the individual’s intellectual and emotional development studies taking the pessimistic side are reviewed, issues behind adopting such stand are analyzed. Studies of bilingualism holding the optimistic point of view are pointed out. Justifications. Advocating such view are stated, challenges for acquiring two languages at a time are pointed out, along with strategies assumed to be used by the bilingual child. Implication for such review are stated to be taken into consideration by those concerned in bilingual education.

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