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Bilinguals are not merely able to express an idea in two languages, they also have the opportunity to be immersed in two cultures. Bilingualism is indeed the key to biculturalism. The discussions in chapters 3 through 7 have shown that simultaneous acquisition of two or more languages from birth does not represent a risk for children’s cognitive or social development. But does it offer benefits not available to monolinguals? Perhaps not all the ones that some parents are hoping for, but certainly a number of important ones. Bilinguals outperform monolinguals in their reading and writing abilities, and they are more successful in learning additional languages. They are also credited with enhanced mental flexibility. Executive function plays a crucial role here, because it subserves the mental activities involved in the kinds of language use that have been found to result in cognitive advantages of bilinguals. Bilingualism can contribute to better executive function and consequently also to better aging, but other cognitive activities can have similar effects. Another important benefit is that bilinguals are qualified to act as mediators between cultures, in the family or in the larger society.
The goal of this book is to provide information that will enable parents and educators of children growing up bilingually to make finformed decisions on the bilingual education of their children. The qualifications of the author consist of more than 35 years of experience in research on bilingual development and in counselling activities over the same period of time. How to use the book. Acknowledgments.
Bilinguals are individuals who use more than one language in daily interactions. They do not necessarily have an equally good command of their languages. Age of onset of acquisition (AOA) is probably the most important factor determining whether a native competence is acquired. All L1 children develop full competences in their languages, whereas very few if any L2 learners are able to achieve this goal. This suggests that the LAD guiding L1 is subject to age-dependent changes and is not fully accessible anymore in L2 acquisition. Such changes are reflected in the speech of early successive bilinguals. They use constructions that are also found in the speech of adult L2 learners but not in the language use of monolingual or bilingual L1 children. L1-L2 differences emerge as early as at approximately age 3;6, affecting the morphosyntax of the target language. Maturational changes of the brain are a major though not the only cause of this kind of linguistic behaviour. They open and close windows of opportunities. These constitute senstitive phases during which learners are optimally prepared for certain acquisition tasks. As of approximately age 6–7, children resemble adult L2 learners rather than simultaneous bilinguals.
More than half of the world’s population is bilingual. However, ‘bilingual’ can mean different things with respect to individuals’ linguistic competence, ranging from two native competences to basic communicative abilities. Uncertainties about the nature of the attainable linguistic knowledge in both languages leads to negative attitudes towards child bilingualism. Parents might therefore decide against bilingualism. This can contribute to the decline of minority languages. An example is Occitan. It is therefore crucial to disentangle facts and myths concerning risks and benefits of child bilingualism. Since these are well-studied issues, the search for facts can draw on resarch results that provide solid knowledge about the linguistic knowledge and skills of young bilinguals. The focus lies on the acquisition of grammatical knowledge and the ability to use it in communication. The goal is to provide information allowing parents to make informed choices when deciding on whether to raise children bilingually. All recommendations are based on research findings, some of which are summarized in the following chapters. These are organized in such a way as to allow readers to focus on the aspects that are most relevant to them.
The most frequently expressed concern is whether early bilinguals will be able to differentiate their languages. Research on child bilingualism has demonstrated that this is indeed the case. Children acquiring two languages simultaneously are able to differentiate their lexical and grammatical systems from very early on. Ocassional language mixing is not an indication of an underlying unitary system, fusing two or more linguistic competences. Rather, mixing is a performance phenomenon. Most mixed utterances are instances of code-switching, i.e. linguistic behaviour constrained by grammatical and sociolinguistic principles. Early mixes may also result from a choice of language that is unexpected from an adult perspective. Choosing the adequate language in bilingual settings requires sociolinguistic knowledge that is acquired in the course of children’s socialization. Parents can support bilingual L1 acquisition by their own linguistic behaviour. Following the ‘one person, one language’ (OPOL) principle is a method that has been applied successfully for over 100 years.
Some bilingual children stop speaking one of their languages although they understand it. Why do they do this? Will they loose the knowledge they have acquired up to this point? Or will they acquire an incomplete knowledge of this language? Can parents encourage the use of the dispreferred language? It is difficult to identify the reasons for why children behave as receptive rather than active bilinguals. But the learning environment is clearly relevant. If only one person uses one of the languages with the child, receptive bilingualism is a likely result. Amount of exposure to a language is another crucial factor: the dominant language is most likely to be the one preferred by children. Preference of a language can also indicate a more developed competence in this language. If one language develops at a slower rate or if its grammar is not fully acquired, it is considered to be ‘weaker’. However, incomplete acquisition has only been reported to happen in second language learners, not in simultaneous bilinguals.
Can children exposed to more than two languages from birth acquire native competences in these languages? This is indeed possible, for the Language Making Capacity (LMC) is an endowment for multilingualism. The nature of our cognitive system does not impose an upper limit on the number of languages that we can acquire. However, the number is limited for practical reasons. Most impotantly, exposure to each language must attain a quantitative minimum. It is, however, difficult to define precisely the necessary minimum. Most monolingual children receive a much larger quantity of input than what is minimally necessary. It is therefore not necessarily a problem if the amount of speech directed to multilinguals in each of their languages is smaller than that of monolinguals. The threshold for successful grammatical acquisition can tentatively be said to amount to approximately 20 to 30 % of children’s weekly exposure to child-directed speech and interactions with adults and peers. If the relative amount of exposure to a language drops below 20%, acquisition still happens, but it will be delayed and is unlikely to lead to full native competences.
Parents often wonder whether children acquiring two languages simultaneously will attain native competences in both. In order to answert this question, we must contrast bilinguals’ language development with that of monolinguals. This requires a basic understanding of monolingual first language (L1) acquisition: It is always successful, happens at a fast rate and uniformly in that children proceed through identical developmental phases. These properties can be explained if we assume that L1 acquisition is guided by an innate Language Making Capacity (LMC), comprising general-purpose and language-specific cognitive principles. The latter make up the The Language Acquisition Device (LAD). Unversal Grammar (UG), a subcomponent of the LAD, consists of principles specifying formal properties of human languages. The simultaneous acquisition of two languages from birth exhibits the same properties as L1 development. Developmental sequences are non-distinct in bilinguals and monolinguals, and bilingual development happens at appproximately the same rate. It can thus indeed be qualified as bilingual first language acquisition.
Now that we know that simultaneous bilinguals can differentiate languages from early on, the question is whether they can keep them apart during later developmental phases. After all, we know that all languages of multilinguals are constantly activated, though at different levels. Research has shown that activation does not normally trigger interference resulting in non-native competences. Bilinguals are able to keep systems apart, even when switching between them in language use. When code-switching happens within utterances, it is constrained by grammatical properties of both languages involved. Switching is also constrained by contextual and social factors. Bilingual children have to acquire the required knowledge, grammatical as well as pragmatic, in order to be able to code-switch like adults. In cases where cross-linguistic interaction happens, it never affects all parts of, only some aspects. Moreover, it is typically a temporary effect that does not indicate a failure to separate languages. Rather, it is a performance phenomenon. Children exposed to mixed speech tend to mix more frequently themselves. They are nevertheless able to develop separate grammars that show no signs of interference.
Are you raising your child bilingually, or planning to do so in the future, but are unsure how to proceed? Using a question-and-answer format, this practical and reassuring guide will enable readers to make informed decisions about how to raise their child with two or more languages. To grow up bilingually is a necessity or an opportunity for more children today than ever before. However, parents are frequently uncertain about what to do, or even fear that they may be putting their child's development at risk. Disentangling fact from myth, it shows that a child can acquire more than one 'first' language simultaneously and that one language need not have negative effects on the other. Each chapter is devoted to a question typically asked by parents in counselling sessions, followed by a concise answer, summaries of the evidence and practical tips.
Background: Patients with anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive (AChR+) generalized myasthenia gravis (MG) unresponsive to conventional treatment experience greater disease burden than responsive patients. This is partly due to exacerbations, which may result in significant healthcare resource utilization. Eculizumab is well tolerated and gives clinically meaningful benefits in these patients. We evaluated the effect of long-term eculizumab treatment on exacerbations, hospitalizations and rescue therapy in the REGAIN study and its open-label extension. Methods: Exacerbations were defined as clinical worsening/deterioration, MG crises or rescue therapy usage; pre-study exacerbations/hospitalizations were defined from patient records. Event rates adjusted for patient-years were calculated for all patients in the pre-study year, patients receiving placebo during REGAIN, and patients receiving eculizumab during REGAIN and its open-label extension (median exposure, 27.5 months [range, 22 days–42.8 months]); rates were compared using a Poisson regression model. Results: Eculizumab treatment reduced exacerbations by 65% (p=0.0057), hospitalizations by 71% (p=0.0316) and rescue therapy use by 66% (p=0.0072) versus placebo. Eculizumab treatment reduced exacerbations by 74% and hospitalizations by 83% (both p<0.0001) versus the pre-study year. Conclusions: Long-term eculizumab treatment reduces disease burden and healthcare resource utilization, demonstrating continuing improvements in clinical endpoints that lead to additional meaningful outcomes for patients with AChR+ generalized MG. (NCT01997229, NCT02301624).
This paper explores the relationship between the physical stature of Colombians born during the 20th century and several socio-economic and demographic variables. Using a dataset of more than 225,000 individuals built with information from judicial background certificates, we found a sustained growth of the average height of women and men during the 20th century. The results show significant differences in stature according to gender, level of education, occupation, and place and date of birth. Similarly, health conditions and access to aqueducts significantly affect height. We found that departmental average height disparities decreased and the gap across regions closed throughout the century.
This chapter takes the discussion of social problems into the public sociology debate. We consider theoretical underpinnings of the idea of the public and the public problem-solving work in our disciplinary roots. We revisit conceptualizations of public intellectual labor as well as the historical struggles across professional associations as to the value and place for actually solving social problems. We conclude by considering the current national political climate, professional association responses, and challenges for social problems scholars in surreal times.
Paranoid ideation is a core feature of psychosis, and models of paranoia have long proposed that it arises in the context of disturbances in the perception of the self. However, to develop targeted interventions, there is a benefit in clarifying further, which aspects of self-perception are implicated. Interpersonal sensitivity is a personality trait which has been associated with the risk of paranoid thinking in the general population. However, not all studies have found this link. We aimed to review the empirical literature assessing the association between interpersonal sensitivity and paranoia in both general population and clinical samples; and to explore if associations found differed depending on whether state or trait paranoia was assessed. The review followed PRISMA guidelines. Articles were identified through a literature search in OVID (PsychINFO, MEDLINE) and Web of Science up to December 2016. Fourteen studies with a total of 12 138 participants were included. All studies were of ‘fair’ or ‘good’ quality. A robust association was found between interpersonal sensitivity and paranoia in clinical and general population samples alike, regardless of the method of assessment of both paranoia and interpersonal sensitivity. Although this finding was more pronounced in studies of trait paranoia, it is likely that differences in study purpose, measurement, and power explain these differences. Findings from this review support the hypothesis that feelings of personal vulnerability and exaggerated socially evaluative concerns are central for both onset and maintenance of paranoid symptoms, suggesting avenues for future research in targeted interventions.