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6 - Bilingualism and Society

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2023

Maria Garraffa
Affiliation:
University of East Anglia
Antonella Sorace
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Maria Vender
Affiliation:
Università degli Studi di Verona
John W. Schwieter
Affiliation:
Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario
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Summary

In the final chapter we elaborate on how families and society can support bilingualism, starting from the observation that it is not sufficient to expose a child to two languages in order to attain native-like proficiency in both. In fact, supporting individuals’ development and maintenance of two languages requires important precautions. We discuss the role of linguistic input, from both quantitative and the qualitative points of view, and the importance of formal education in both languages for complete language development, including biliteracy. Moreover, we consider the importance of family and societal attitudes towards bilingualism, emphasizing that all languages should be appraised by the community, regardless of their prestige. We conclude by emphasizing that it is paramount that social policies disseminate correct information about bilingualism and encourage the maintenance of all languages in all of their components.

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Chapter
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Bilingualism Matters
Language Learning Across the Lifespan
, pp. 98 - 118
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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