Bilingualism

bilingualism, ability to use two languages. Fluency in a second language requires skills in listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing, although in practice some of those skills are often considerably less developed than others. Few bilinguals are equally proficient in both languages. However, even when one language is dominant (see language acquisition), performance in the other language may be superior in certain situations—e.g., someone generally stronger in Russian than in English may find it easier to talk about baseball in English. Native speakers of two languages are sometimes called equilingual, or ambilingual, if their mastery of both languages is equal. Some bilinguals are persons who were reared by parents who each spoke a different language or who spoke a language different from the one used in school. In some countries, especially those with two or more official languages, schools encourage bilinguilism by requiring intensive study of a second language. Bilinguals sometimes exhibit code-switching, or switching from one language to the other in the middle of a conversation or even the same sentence; it may be triggered by the use of a word that is similar in both languages.

See G. Saunders, Bilingual Children (1988); K. Hyltenstam and L. K. Obler, ed., Bilingualism Across the Lifespan (1989).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Bilingualism: Selected full-text books and articles

Bilingualism and the Latin Language By J. N. Adams Cambridge University Press, 2003
Childhood Bilingualism: Aspects of Linguistic, Cognitive, and Social Development By Peter Homel; Michael Palij; Doris Aaronson Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1987
Literacy and Bilingualism: A Handbook for All Teachers By María Estela Brisk; Margaret M. Harrington Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000
Foreign Language and Mother Tongue By Istvan Kecskes; Tünde Papp Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "Language Processing Device of Multilinguals" and Chap. 7 "Pragmatic Knowledge of Multilinguals"
An Understanding of the Concept and Conditions of Bilingualism: A Study in an EFL Setting By Lastra R., Sandra Patricia HOW - A Colombian Journal for Teachers of English, Annual 2009
The Influence of a Time Limit and Bilingualism on Scholastic Assessment Test Performance By DeDonno, Michael A.; Rivera-Torres, Karla; Monis, Ann; Fagan, Joseph F North American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 16, No. 2, June 2014
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Bilingualism, Cultural Transmutation, and Fields of Coexistence: California's Spanish Language Legacy By Garcia, Sara Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table, Fall 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
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