People who are bilingual have an advantage over the rest of us, and not just in terms of communication skills. The bilingual brain develops more densely, giving it an advantage in various abilities and skills, according to new research.
Multilingualism is the act of using polyglotism, or using multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon governed by the needs of globalization and cultural openness. Owing to the ease of access to information facilitated by the Internet, individuals' exposure to multiple languages is becoming increasingly frequent thereby promoting a need to acquire additional languages.
People who speak several languages are also called polyglots.
The definition of multilingualism is a subject of debate in the very same way as the definition of language fluency. On one end of a sort of linguistic-continuum, one may define multilingualism as complete competence and mastery in another language. The speaker would presumably have complete knowledge and control over the language so as to sound native. On the opposite end of the spectrum would be people such as tourists who know enough phrases to get around using the alternate language.
Because of the lack of any true definition for multilingualism, it is very difficult to define an individual as being multilingual. Having no specification of how much knowledge of a language is required for a person to be classified as bilingual makes it difficult for language teaching institutions to teach languages to students to the point of fluency. As a result, since most speakers do not achieve the maximally ideal level, language learners may come to be seen as deficient and by extension, language teaching may come to be seen as a failure.
Since 1992, Vivian Cook has argued that most multilingual speakers fall somewhere between minimal and maximal definitions. Cook calls these people multi-competent.
There is no clear definition of what it means to "speak a language". A tourist who can handle a simple conversation with a waiter may be completely lost when it comes to discussing current affairs or even using multiple tenses. A diplomat or businessman who can handle complicated negotiations in a foreign language may not be able to write a simple letter correctly. A four-year-old French child would usually be said to "speak French fluently", but it is possible that he cannot handle the grammar as well as even some mediocre foreign students of the language do and may have a very limited vocabulary despite possibly having perfect pronunciation. On the other hand, it is quite common that even very highly accomplished linguists may speak the language(s) of which they are experts with a distinct accent and to have gaps in their active vocabulary when it comes to everyday topics and situations.
Because the development of spoken fluency requires prolonged exposure to a given language, claims of extensive polyglottism must generally be understood to refer to the mastery of basic communicative skills along with the grammatical rules and (possibly) an extensive vocabulary in the target languages, rather than a near-native level of spoken fluency. In historical times prior to audio and video recordings which can be used to facilitate artificial language exposure, quite unusual circumstances would have been needed for an individual to achieve high-level spoken fluency in several languages. Although it is possible to learn the grammatical rules and vocabulary of a language from books alone, such an individual might not be able to communicate in the language at all, neither understanding the language as it sounds spoken out loud nor being able to produce the sounds him- or herself.
In addition there is no clear definition of what "one language" means. For instance, scholars often disagree whether Scots is a language in its own right or a dialect of English.
As another example, a person who has learned five different languages such as French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian and Portuguese, all belonging to the closely related group of Romance languages, has accomplished something less difficult than a person who has learnt Hebrew, Chinese, Finnish, Navajo, and Welsh, none of which are remotely related to another.
Furthermore, what is considered a language can change, often for purely political purposes, such as when Serbo-Croatian was assembled from South Slavic dialects, and after the breakup of Yugoslavia dissolved into Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin, or when Ukrainian was dismissed as a Russian dialect by the Russian tsars to discourage national feelings.
Many small independent nations' schoolchildren are today compelled to learn multiple languages because of international interactions. For example in Finland, all children are required to learn at least two foreign languages: the other national language (Swedish or Finnish) and one alien language (usually English). Many Finnish schoolchildren also select further languages, such as French, German or Spanish. In some large nations with multiple languages, such as India, school children may routinely learn multiple languages based on where they reside in the country. In major metros of Central, South and East India, many children may be fluent in four languages (the mother tongue, the state language, and the official national languages, Hindi and English.) Thus a child of Gujarati parents living in Bangalore will end up speaking his or her mother tongue (Gujarati) at home and the state language (Kannada), Hindi and English in school and his or her surroundings.
A multilingual person, in a broad definition, is one who can communicate in more than one language, be it actively (through speaking, writing, or signing) or passively (through listening, reading, or perceiving). More specifically, the terms bilingual and trilingual are used to describe comparable situations in which two or three languages are involved. A multilingual person is generally referred to as a polyglot. Poly (Greek: πολύς) means "many", glot (Greek: γλώττα) means "language".
Multilingual speakers have acquired and maintained at least one language during childhood, the so-called first language (L1). The first language (sometimes also referred to as the mother tongue) is acquired without formal education, by mechanisms heavily disputed. Children acquiring two languages in this way are called simultaneous bilinguals. Even in the case of simultaneous bilinguals one language usually dominates over the other.
In linguistics, first language acquisition is closely related to the concept of a "native speaker". According to a view widely held by linguists, a native speaker of a given language has in some respects a level of skill which a second (or subsequent) language learner can hardly reliably accomplish. Consequently, descriptive empirical studies of languages are usually carried out using only native speakers as informants. This view is, however, slightly problematic, particularly as many non-native speakers demonstrably not only successfully engage with and in their non-native language societies, but in fact may become culturally and even linguistically important contributors (as, for example, writers, politicians and performing artists) in their non-native language. In recent years, linguistic research has focused attention on the use of widely known world languages such as English as lingua franca, or the shared common language of professional and commercial communities. In lingua franca situations, most speakers of the common language are functionally multilingual.
Bilinguals who are highly proficient in two or more languages are reported to have enhanced executive function and are better at some aspects of language learning compared to monolinguals. Research indicates that a multilingual brain is nimbler, quicker, better able to deal with ambiguities, resolve conflicts, and resist Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia longer.
There is also a phenomenon known as distractive bilingualism or semilingualism. When acquisition of the first language is interrupted and insufficient or unstructured language input follows from the second language, as sometimes happens with immigrant children, the speaker can end up with two languages both mastered below the monolingual standard.][ Literacy plays an important role in the development of language in these immigrant children.][ Those who were literate in their first language before arriving, and who have support to maintain that literacy, are at the very least able to maintain and master their first language.][
There is, of course, a difference between those who learn a language in a class environment, and those who learn through total immersion, usually living in the country where the target language is the exclusive.
Without the possibility to actively translate, due to a complete lack of any first language communication opportunity, the comparison between languages is reduced. The new language is almost independently learned - like the mother tongue for a child - with direct concept-to-language translation that can become more natural than word structures learned as a subject. Added to this, the uninterrupted, immediate and exclusive practise of the new language reinforces and deepens the attained knowledge.
Receptive bilinguals are those who have the ability to understand a second language but who cannot speak it or whose abilities to speak it are inhibited by psychological barriers. Receptive bilingualism is frequently encountered among adult immigrants to the U.S. who do not speak English as a native language but who have children who do speak English natively, usually in part because those children's education has been conducted in English: While the immigrant parents can understand both their native language and English, they speak only their native language to their children. If their children are likewise receptively bilingual but productively English-monolingual, throughout the conversation the parents will speak their native language and the children will speak English. If their children are productively bilingual, however, those children may answer in the parents' native language, in English, or in a combination of both languages, varying their choice of language depending on factors such as the communication's content, context, and/or emotional intensity and the presence or absence of third-party speakers of one language or the other. The third alternative represents the phenomenon of "code-switching" (also styled "code switching"), in which the productively bilingual party to a communication switches languages in the course of that communication. Receptively bilingual persons, especially children, may rapidly achieve oral fluency by spending extended time in situations where they are required to speak the language that they theretofore understood only passively. Until both generations achieve oral fluency, not all definitions of bilingualism accurately characterize the family as a whole, but the linguistic differences between the family's generations often constitute little or no impairment to the family's functionality.][
Receptive bilingualism in one language as exhibited by a speaker of another language, or even as exhibited by most speakers of that language, is not the same as mutual intelligibility of languages: The latter is a property of a pair of languages, namely a consequence of objectively high lexical and grammatical similarities between the languages themselves (e.g., Iberian Spanish and Iberian Portuguese), whereas the former is a property of one or more persons and is determined by subjective or intersubjective factors such as the respective languages' prevalence in the life history (including family upbringing, educational setting, and ambient culture) of the individual person or persons in question.
Because it is difficult or impossible to master many of the high-level semantic aspects of a language (including but not limited to its idioms and eponyms) without first understanding the culture and history of the region in which that language evolved, as a practical matter an in-depth familiarity with multiple cultures is a prerequisite for high-level multilingualism. This knowledge of cultures individually and comparatively, or indeed the mere fact of one's having that knowledge, often forms an important part of both what one considers one's own personal identity to be and what others consider that identity to be. Some studies have found that groups of multilingual individuals get higher average scores on tests for certain personality traits such as cultural empathy, openmindedness and social initiative.
The idea of linguistic relativity, which claims that the language people speak influences the way they see the world, can be interpreted to mean that individuals who speak multiple languages have a broader, more diverse view of the world, even when speaking only one language at a time.
Some bilinguals feel that their personality changes depending on which language they are speaking; thus multilingualism is said to create multiple personalities. Xiao-lei Wang states in her book Growing up with Three Languages: Birth to Eleven: “Languages used by speakers with one or more than one language are used not just to represent a unitary self, but to enact different kinds of selves, and different linguistic contexts create different kinds of self-expression and experiences for the same person.” However, there has been little rigorous research done on this topic and it is difficult to define “personality” in this context. Francois Grosjean writes: “What is seen as a change in personality is most probably simply a shift in attitudes and behaviors that correspond to a shift in situation or context, independent of language.”
One view is that of the linguist Noam Chomsky in what he calls the human 'language acquisition device '— a mechanism which enables an individual to recreate correctly the rules (grammar) and certain other characteristics of language used by speakers around the learner. This device, according to Chomsky, wears out over time, and is not normally available by puberty, which he uses to explain the poor results some adolescents and adults have when learning aspects of a second language (L2).
If language learning is a cognitive process, rather than a language acquisition device, as the school led by Stephen Krashen suggests, there would only be relative, not categorical, differences between the two types of language learning.
Rod Ellis quotes research finding that the earlier children learn a second language, the better off they are, in terms of pronunciation. See Critical period hypothesis. European schools generally offer secondary language classes for their students early on, due to the interconnectedness with neighbour countries with different languages. Most European students now study at least two foreign languages, a process strongly encouraged by the European Union.
Based on the research in Ann Fathman’s The Relationship between age and second language productive ability, there is a difference in the rate of learning of English morphology, syntax and phonology based upon differences in age, but that the order of acquisition in second language learning does not change with age.
People who have Multilanguage background will find out their native language would influence their second language in any other ages.
In second language class, students will commonly face the difficulties on thinking in the target language because they are influenced by their native language and culture patterns. Robert B. Kaplan thinks that in second language classes, the foreign-student paper is out of focus because the foreign student is employing rhetoric and a sequence of thought which violate the expectations of the native reader. Foreign students who have mastered syntactic structures have still demonstrated inability to compose adequate themes, term papers, theses, and dissertations. Robert B. Kaplan describes two key words that affect people when they learn a second language. Logic in the popular, rather than the logician's sense of the word, which is the basis of rhetoric, is evolved out of a culture; it is not universal. Rhetoric, then, is not universal either, but varies, from culture to culture and even from time to time within a given culture. Language teachers know how to predict the differences between pronunciations or constructions in different languages, but they might be less clear about the differences between rhetoric, that is, in the way they use language to accomplish various purposes, particularly in writing.
Various aspects of multilingualism have been studied in the field of neuroscience. These include the representation of different language systems in the brain, the effects of multilingualism on the brain's structural plasticity, aphasia in multilingual individuals, and bimodal bilingualisms (people who can speak one sign language and one oral language). Neuroscientific studies of multilingualism are carried out with functional neuroimaging, electrophysiology, and through observation of people who have suffered brain damage.
Language acquisition in multilingual individuals is contingent on two factors: age of the language acquisition and proficiency. Specialization is centered in the Perisylvian cortex of the left hemisphere. Various regions of both the right and left hemisphere activate during language production. Multilingual individuals consistently demonstrate similar activation patterns in the brain when using either one of the two or more languages they fluently know. Age of acquiring the second-or-higher language, and proficiency of use determine what specific brain regions and pathways activate when using (thinking or speaking) the language. Contrast to those who acquired their multiple languages at different points in their life, those who acquire multiple languages when young, and at virtually the same time, show similar activations in parts of Broca’s area and left inferior frontal lobe. If the second-or-higher language is acquired later in life, specifically after the critical period, the language becomes centralized in a different part of Broca’s area than the native language and other languages learned when young.
A greater density of grey matter in the inferior parietal cortex is present in multilingual individuals. It has been found that multilingualism affects the structure, and essentially, the cytoarchitecture of the brain. Learning multiple languages re-structures the brain and some researchers argue that it increases the brain’s capacity for plasticity. Most of these differences in brain structures in multilinguals may be genetic at the core. Consensus is still muddled; it may be a mixture of both—experiential (acquiring languages during life) and genetic (predisposition to brain plasticity).
An abundance of insight about language storage in the brain comes from studying bilingual/ mulilingual individuals afflicted with a form of aphasia. The symptoms and severity of aphasia in bilinguals/ mulitlinguals depend on how many languages the individual knows, what order they have them stored in the brain, how frequently they use each one, and how proficient they are in using those languages. Two primary theoretical approaches to studying and viewing bilingual/ multilingual aphasics exist—the localizationalist approach and the dynamic approach. The localizationalist approach views different languages as stored in different regions of the brain; and therefore, is the reason why bilingual/ multilingual aphasics may lose one language they know, but not the other(s). The dynamical theory approach suggests that the language system is supervised by a dynamic equilibrium between the existing language capabilities and the constant alteration and adaptation to the communicative requirements of the environment. The dynamic approach views the representation and control aspects of the language system as compromised as a result of brain damage to the brain’s language regions. The dynamic approach offers a satisfactory explanation for the various recovery times of each of the languages the aphasic has had impaired or lost because of the brain damage. Recovery of languages varies across aphasic patients. Some may recover all lost or impaired languages simultaneously. For some, one language is recovered before the others. In others, an involuntary mix of languages occurs in the recovery process; the aphasic would intermix words from the various languages he/she knows when speaking.
Neuroscientific research on Bimodal individuals—those who speak one oral language and one sign language—has been carried out. Pet scans from these studies show that there is a separate region in the brain for working memory related to sign language production and use. These studies also find that Bimodal individuals use different areas of the right hemisphere depending on whether if they are speaking using verbal language or gesticulating using sign-language. Studies with bimodal bilinguals have also provided insight into the tip of the tongue phenomenon and into patterns of neural activity when recognizing facial expressions.
There are sophisticated mechanisms to prevent cross talk in brains where more than one language is stored. The executive control system might be implicated to prevent one language from interfering with another in multilinguals.The executive control system is responsible for processes that are sometimes referred to as executive functions, and among others includes supervisory attentional system, or cognitive control. Despite the fact that most research on the executive control system pertains to nonverbal tasks, there is some evidence that the system might be involved in resolving and ordering the conflict generated by the competing languages stored in the mulitlingual’s brain. During speech production there is a constant need to channel attention to the appropriate word associated with the concept, congruent with the language being used. The word must be placed in the appropriate phonological and morphological context. Multilinguals constantly utilize the general executive control system to resolve interference/conflicts among the known languages, enhancing the system’s functional performance, even on nonverbal tasks. In studies, multilingual subjects of all ages, showed overall enhanced executive control abilities. This may indicate that the multilingual experience leads to a transfer of skill from the verbal to the nonverbal. There is no one specific domain of language modulation in the general executive control system, as far as studies reveal. Studies show that the speed with which multilingual subjects perform tasks, with-and-without mediation required to resolve language-use conflict, is better in bilingual than monolingual subjects.
Researcher Ellen Bialystok examined the effect of multilingualism on Alzheimer’s disease and found that it delays its onset by about 4 years. The researcher’s study found that those who spoke more than two languages acquired Alzheimer’s disease at a later time than speakers of a single language. Interestingly, the study found that the more languages the multilingual knows, the later the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Both bilingualism and multilingualism aid in the building up of cognitive reserves in the brain; these cognitive reserves force the brain to work harder—they themselves, restructure the brain. Multilingualism and bilingualism lead to greater efficiency of use in the brain, and organize the brain to be more efficient and conservative in using energy. More research is required to determine whether if learning another language later in life has the same protective effects; nonetheless, it is evident from the variety of studies performed on the effects of multilingualism and bilingualism on the brain, that learning and knowing multiple languages sets the stage for a cognitive healthy life.
Widespread multilingualism is one form of language contact. Multilingualism was more common in the past than is usually supposed][: in early times, when most people were members of small language communities, it was necessary to know two or more languages for trade or any other dealings outside one's own town or village, and this holds good today in places of high linguistic diversity such as Sub-Saharan Africa and India. Linguist Ekkehard Wolff estimates that 50% of the population of Africa is multilingual.
In multilingual societies, not all speakers need to be multilingual. Some states can have multilingual policies and recognise several official languages, such as Canada (English and French). In some states, particular languages may be associated with particular regions in the state (e.g., Canada) or with particular ethnicities (Malaysia/Singapore). When all speakers are multilingual, linguists classify the community according to the functional distribution of the languages involved:
N.B. the terms given above all refer to situations describing only two languages. In cases of an unspecified number of languages, the terms polyglossia, omnilingualism, and multipart-lingualism are more appropriate.
Whenever two people meet, negotiations take place. If they want to express solidarity and sympathy, they tend to seek common features in their behavior. If speakers wish to express distance towards or even dislike of the person they are speaking to, the reverse is true, and differences are sought. This mechanism also extends to language, as described in the Communication Accommodation Theory.
Some multilinguals use code-switching, a term that describes the process of 'swapping' between languages. In many cases, code-switching is motivated by the wish to express loyalty to more than one cultural group][, as holds for many immigrant communities in the New World. Code-switching may also function as a strategy where proficiency is lacking. Such strategies are common if the vocabulary of one of the languages is not very elaborated for certain fields, or if the speakers have not developed proficiency in certain lexical domains, as in the case of immigrant languages.
This code-switching appears in many forms. If a speaker has a positive attitude towards both languages and towards code-switching, many switches can be found, even within the same sentence. If, however, the speaker is reluctant to use code-switching, as in the case of a lack of proficiency, he might knowingly or unknowingly try to camouflage his attempt by converting elements of one language into elements of the other language through calquing. This results in speakers using words like courrier noir (literally mail that is black) in French, instead of the proper word for blackmail, chantage.
Sometimes a pidgin language may develop. A pidgin language is basically a fusion of two languages, which is mutually understandable for both speakers. Some pidgin languages develop into real languages (such as papiamento at Curaçao) while other remain as slangs or jargons (such as Helsinki slang, which is more or less mutually intelligible both in Finnish and Swedish). In other cases, prolonged influence of languages on each other may have the effect of changing one or both to the point where it may be considered that a new language is born. For example, many linguists believe that the Occitan language and the Catalan language were formed because a population speaking a single Occitano-Romance language was divided into political spheres of influence of France and Spain, respectively. Yiddish language is a complex blend of Middle High German with Hebrew and borrowings from Slavic languages.
Bilingual interaction can even take place without the speakers switching. In certain areas, it is not uncommon for speakers each to use a different language within the same conversation. This phenomenon is found, amongst other places, in Scandinavia. Most speakers of Swedish and Norwegian, and Norwegian and Danish, can communicate with each other speaking their respective languages, while few can speak both (people used to these situations often adjust their language, avoiding words that are not found in the other language or that can be misunderstood). Using different languages is usually called non-convergent discourse, a term introduced by the Dutch linguist Reitze Jonkman. To a certain extent this situation also exists between Dutch and Afrikaans, although everyday contact is fairly rare because of the distance between the two respective communities. The phenomenon is also found in Argentina, where Spanish and Italian are both widely spoken, even leading to cases where a child with a Spanish and an Italian parent grows up fully bilingual, with both parents speaking only their own language yet knowing the other. Another example is the former state of Czechoslovakia, where two languages (Czech and Slovak) were in common use. Most Czechs and Slovaks understand both languages, although they would use only one of them (their respective mother tongue) when speaking. For example, in Czechoslovakia it was common to hear two people talking on television each speaking a different language without any difficulty understanding each other. This bilinguality still exists nowadays, although it has started to deteriorate after Czechoslovakia split up][.
Sociopolitical as well as socio-cultural identity arguments may influence native language literacy. While these two camps may occupy much of the debate about which languages children will learn to read, a greater emphasis on the linguistic aspects of the argument is appropriate. In spite of the political turmoil precipitated by this debate, researchers continue to espouse a linguistic basis for it. This rationale is based upon the work of Jim Cummins (1983).
In this model, learners receive literacy instruction in their native language until they acquire a "threshold" literacy proficiency. Some researchers use age 3 as the age when a child has basic communicative competence in L1 (Kessler, 1984). Children may go through a process of sequential acquisition if they migrate at a young age to a country where a different language is spoken, or if the child exclusively speaks his or her heritage language at home until he/she is immersed in a school setting where instruction is offered in a different language.
The phases children go through during sequential acquisition are less linear than for simultaneous acquisition and can vary greatly among children. Sequential acquisition is a more complex and lengthier process, although there is no indication that non language-delayed children end up less proficient than simultaneous bilinguals, so long as they receive adequate input in both languages.
In this model, the native language and the community language are simultaneously taught. The advantage is literacy in two languages as the outcome. However, the teacher must be well-versed in both languages and also in techniques for teaching a second language.
This model posits that equal time should be spent in separate instruction of the native language and of the community language. The native language class, however, focuses on basic literacy while the community language class focuses on listening and speaking skills. Being a bilingual does not necessarily mean that one can speak, for example, English and French.
Cummins' research concluded that the development of competence in the native language serves as a foundation of proficiency that can be transposed to the second language — the common underlying proficiency hypothesis. His work sought to overcome the perception propagated in the 1960s that learning two languages made for two competing aims. The belief was that the two languages were mutually exclusive and that learning a second required unlearning elements and dynamics of the first in order to accommodate the second (Hakuta, 1990). The evidence for this perspective relied on the fact that some errors in acquiring the second language were related to the rules of the first language (Hakuta, 1990). How this hypothesis holds under different types of languages such as Romance versus non-Western languages has yet to undergo research.
Another new development that has influenced the linguistic argument for bilingual literacy is the length of time necessary to acquire the second language. While previously children were believed to have the ability to learn a language within a year, today researchers believe that within and across academic settings, the time span is nearer to five years (Collier, 1992; Ramirez, 1992).
An interesting outcome of studies during the early 1990s however confirmed that students who do successfully complete bilingual instruction perform better academically (Collier, 1992; Ramirez, 1992). These students exhibit more cognitive elasticity including a better ability to analyse abstract visual patterns. Students who receive bidirectional bilingual instruction where equal proficiency in both languages is required perform at an even higher level. Examples of such programs include international and multi-national education schools.
Multilingualisation (or "m17n") of computer systems can be considered part of a continuum between internationalization and localization:
Translating the user interface is usually part of the software localization process, which also includes adaptations such as units and date conversion. Many software applications are available in several languages, ranging from a handful (the most spoken languages) to dozens for the most popular applications (such as office suites, web browsers, etc.). Due to the status of English in computing, software development nearly always uses it (but see also Non-English-based programming languages), so almost all commercial software is initially available in an English version, and multilingual versions, if any, may be produced as alternative options based on the English original.
It is extremely common for music to be written in whatever the contemporary lingua franca is. If a song is not written in a common tongue, then it is usually written in whatever is the predominant language of the musician's country of origin, or in another largely-recognized language, such as German, Spanish, or French.][
The bilingual song cycles "there..." and "Sing, Poetry" on the 2011 contemporary classical album Troika consist of musical settings of Russian poems with their English self-translations by Joseph Brodsky and Vladimir Nabokov, respectively.
Songs with lyrics in multiple languages are known as macaronic verse.
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Language proficiency or linguistic proficiency is the ability of an individual to speak or perform in an acquired language. As theories among pedagogues as to what constitutes proficiency go, there is little consistency as to how different organizations classify it. Additionally, fluency and language competence are generally recognized as being related, but separate controversial subjects. In predominant frameworks in the United States, proficient speakers demonstrate both accuracy and fluency, and use a variety of discourse strategies. Thus, native speakers of a language can be fluent without being considered proficient.
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) distinguishes between proficiency and performance. In part, ACTFL's definition of proficiency is derived from mandates issued by the US government, declaring that a limited English proficient student is one who comes from a non-English background and "who has sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language and whose difficulties may deny such an individual the opportunity to learn successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is English or to participate fully in our society."
ACTFL views "performance" as being the combined effect of all three modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational.
Note that test scores may not correlate reliably, as different understandings of proficiency lead to different types of assessment:
See also: Language tests category
Analytical skill is the ability to visualize, articulate, and solve both complex and uncomplicated problems and concepts and make decisions that are sensical based on available information. Such skills include demonstration of the ability to apply logical thinking to gathering and analyzing information, designing and testing solutions to problems, and formulating plans.
In 1999, Richards J. Heuer Jr., explained that: “Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But like many other skills, such as riding a bike, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing.”
To test for analytical skills one might be asked to look for inconsistencies in an advertisement, put a series of events in the proper order, or critically read an essay. Usually standardized tests and interviews include an analytical section that requires the examiner to use their logic to pick apart a problem and come up with a solution.
Although there is no question that analytical skills are essential, other skills are equally required. For instance in systems analysis the systems analyst should focus on four sets of analytical skills: systems thinking, organizational knowledge, problem identification, and problem analyzing and solving.
It also can describe the way we identify a problem and subsequently work out the solutions.
A prelingual deaf individual is someone who was born with a hearing loss or someone whose hearing loss occurred before they began to speak. Infants usually start saying their first words around one year, therefore for a child to be considered prelingually deaf, they would have to have lost their hearing before age one (which is the age at which the majority of hearing losses in children occur). Congenital hearing losses are those that are present at birth, but a child with a congenital hearing loss is also considered prelingually deaf since a newborn infant has not acquired speech and language capabilities yet.
Each year in the United States, approximately 12,000 babies are born with a hearing loss. Profound hearing loss occurs somewhere between 4-11 children per every 10,000 children.
Prelingual hearing loss can be either acquired, meaning it occurred after birth due to illness or injury, or it can be congenital, meaning it was present at birth. Congenital hearing loss can be caused by genetic or nongenetic factors. The nongenetic factors account for about one fourth of the congenial hearing losses in infants. These factors could include: Maternal infections, such as rubella, cytomegalovirus, or herpes simplex virus, lack of oxygen, maternal diabetes, toxemia during pregnancy, low birth weight, prematurity, birth injuries, toxins including drugs and alcohol consumed by the mother during pregnancy, and complications associated with the Rh factor in the blood/jaundice. Genetic factors account for over half of the infants with congenial hearing loss. Most of these are caused by an autosomal recessive hearing loss or an autosomal dominant hearing loss. Autosomal recessive hearing loss is when both parents carry the recessive gene, and pass it on to their child. The autosomal dominant hearing loss is when an abnormal gene from one parent is able to cause hearing loss even though the matching gene from the other parent is normal.
Hearing aids and cochlear implants might make it possible for the child to hear sounds of their hearing range; still, they will not restore normal hearing. Cochlear implants are capable of stimulating the auditory nerve directly to restore some hearing, but the sound quality will never be that of a normal hearing ear, suggesting that deafness cannot be fully overcome by medical devices. Some say that the benefits and safety of cochlear implants continues to grow, especially when children with implants receive a lot of oral educational support. It is a goal for some audiologists to test and fit a deaf child with a cochlear implant by six months of age, so that they don't get behind in learning language. In fact, there are expectations that if children get fit for implants early enough, they can acquire verbal language skills to the same level as their peers with normal hearing.
Children who are prelingually deaf and cannot hear noise beneath 60 decibels, which is about the intensity level of a vacuum cleaner, will not be capable of developing oral language to that of their peers. Children born with profound hearing impairment, 90 decibels and above (about the level of a food blender), are classified as functionally deaf. These children will not develop speech and language skills without help from a speech pathologist. Such children will acquire language comprehension difficulties, even when other modes of language (such as writing and signing) are up to their age level standard. Generally, prelingual deaf individuals have reading levels that do not exceed the level of a fourth grader's. Children who lose their hearing after they have acquired some amount of language, even if it is just for a short while, demonstrate a much higher level of linguistic achievement than those who have not had any language exposure.
In children, this type of hearing loss can lead to social isolation for several reasons. First, the child experiences delayed social development][ that is in large part tied to delayed language acquisition. It is also directly tied to their inability to pick up auditory social cues. This can result in a deaf person becoming generally irritable. A child who uses sign language, or identifies with the Deaf culture does not generally experience this isolation, particularly if he/she attends a school for the deaf, but may conversely experience isolation from his parents if they do not know, or make an effort to learn sign language. A child who is exclusively or predominantly an oral communicator can experience social isolation][ from his or her hearing peers, particularly if no one takes the time to explicitly teach them social skills that other children acquire independently by virtue of having normal hearing.
Deaf children do not acquire speech the same as hearing children because they cannot hear the language spoken around them. In normal language acquisition, auditory comprehension precedes the development of language. Without auditory input, a person with prelingual deafness is forced to acquire speech visually through lip-reading. Acquiring spoken language through lip-reading alone is challenging for the deaf child because it does not always accurately represent speech sounds. The likelihood of a deaf child successfully learning to speak is based on a variety of factors including: ability to discriminate between speech sounds, a higher than average non-verbal IQ, and a higher socioeconomic status. Despite being fitted with hearing aids or provided with oral instruction and speech therapy at a young age, prelingually deaf children are unlikely to ever develop perfect speech and speech-reception skills. Some researchers conclude that deaf children taught exclusively through spoken language appear to pass through the same general stages of language acquisition as their hearing peers but without reaching the same ultimate level of proficiency. The spoken language that may develop for prelingually deaf children will be severely delayed.
Speech perception can be corrected prior to language acquisition with cochlear implants. After a year and a half experience, researchers found the deaf culture was able to identify words and comprehend movements of others' lips. There is a greater opportunity to hear a sound depending on the location of electrodes compared to the tissue and the number of remaining neurons located in the auditory system. In addition, individual capacities as well as the neural supply to the cochlea play a role in the process of learning with cochlear implantation.
Research has continuously found that early implantation leads to better performance than older implantation. Studies continue to show that children with prelingual deafness are able interact in society comfortably when implantation occurs before the age of five. Speech production is a slower procedure in the beginning since creating words requires more effort. Children who had almost two years experience with cochlear implants were able to generate diphthongs and sound out most vowels. They develop skills to understand more information as well as put together letters.
Cochlear implants give deaf individuals the chance to understand auditory messages. Progress was analyzed after several groups of children were given vocabulary and language tests. After three years of practice, the children with the devices did as well as children that had no previous issues with hearing. Specifically, cochlear implants allow children with prelingual deafness to acquire skills similar to children with minimal or no residual hearing.
The ability to acquire speech is not the same as the ability to acquire language. The population’s primary means of communication is produced orally; however, speech and language are dissociative factors. Although we are biologically equipped to use language, we are not biologically limited to speech. A child who has no access to a spoken language will readily acquire a sign language, and a child deprived of both spoken and signed language sometimes invents his or her own gestural system of communication.
There is an innate desire to produce language in both hearing and deaf population. All babies will use vocalizations to communicate. Deaf children who have not been exposed to sign language create their own gesture communication known as homesign for the purpose of expressing what they are feeling. This term refers to gestures that are being used by deaf individuals who were reared in isolation from other deaf signers. Homesign is viewed as a biological component of language because it originates directly from the deaf child and because it is a global occurrence, transcending culture.
American sign language (ASL) is a well known form of communication that is linguistic for both hearing and deaf individuals. Deaf children learning ASL will go through a series of milestones in language from birth through one year of age. These milestones are similar to those of spoken language. A deaf child is aware of his/her environment, enjoys human interaction, smiles, and enjoys hand play from birth to 3 months of age. From 3-6 months a deaf child also begins to babble, referred to as finger babbling. These gestures of the deaf children do not have real meaning, any more than babble noises have meaning, but they are more deliberate than the random finger flutters and fist clenches of hearing babies. (Angier, 1991) Between 6-12 months, deaf children will use manual communication, and will communicate with gestures, such as pulling and pointing. Many deaf children will sign their first word around 8 months of age and up to 10 or more signs by 12 months of age.
Learning three-dimensional grammar, such as in ASL, boosts the child’s visual and spatial abilities to higher than average levels. However, the frequently documented difficulty of learning to read may result from the requirement of pre-existing oral language for literacy. In order to succeed in reading, the deaf child must have a strong language to base it upon. Additionally, communication difficulties with the teacher can impair reading.
Additionally, deaf children often show reduced short-term memory spans for written words in comparison to age-matched hearing children simple because they are less familiar with English words. Short-term memory spans for signs and fingerspelling are also reduced in comparison to age-matched hearing children’s span for spoken words. Deaf children vary widely in their developmental experience with sign language, which affects development of short-term memory processes. Children who begin language acquisition at older ages and/or have limited language input during early childhood have underdeveloped sign language skill, which, in turn, affects their short-term memory development. However, with the linguistic element removed, deaf children performance is equivalent to age-matched hearing children on short term memory tasks.
Mothers who are deaf themselves model signs during face-to- face interactions with their deaf babies. They mold the hands of their babies to form shapes of signs. They exaggerate their facial expressions and provide models in the direct line of vision of their deaf babies. Caregivers of both hearing children and deaf children reinforce the child's early attempts at communication, thus encouraging further and more elaborate communication.
Deaf students who have deaf parents outperform their deaf peers who have hearing parents on every subtest of the WISC-R performance scale. This is due to the fact that deaf parents are better prepared than hearing parents to meet the early learning needs of the deaf child; thus, they acquire language ‘on schedule’. Additionally, deaf children of deaf parents pass through language development stages earlier because the visual pathways are fully myelinated at an earlier age than the comparable auditory pathways.
Deaf children often have enhanced perceptual skills to compensate for the impaired auditory input, and this continues throughout adulthood. Congenitally deaf adults who used sign language showed ERPs that were 5-6 times larger than those of hearing adults over the Left and Right occipital regions. And ERPs 2-3 times larger than hearing participants over the left temporal and parietal regions (which are responsible for linguistic processing). Because both hearing and deaf adults using ASL showed larger ERPs occipital regions, the heightened response to visual stimuli is also due to knowing and using sign language and not only due to deafness.
Both hearing and deaf adults using ASL also show larger ERPs over the left than right hemisphere. Since the left hemisphere is responsible for language, this implies that sign movement is linguistically salient. The movement processed on the left side (language) implies that the right visual field is stronger in deaf and hearing ASL due to the hemispheric association being contralateral.
Deaf children from a lower SES are at a high risk for not being exposed to accessible language at the right time in early childhood. This is because in most countries poverty translates into a lack of access to the educational and clinical services that expose deaf children to language at the appropriate age.
Academic achievement of deaf students is predicted to a large extent by the same factors that predict the academic achievement of normally hearing students, such as social class and the presence of additional handicapping conditions. This means that deafness, by itself, does not determine academic success or failure but rather interacts with many other factors in complex ways.
The deaf children of hearing parents may not have significant exposure to any language in early childhood. Because of their sensory loss, these children perceive little of their parents’ speech. Because in most cases the parents do not sign the children are also not exposed to a conventional sign language. (Meier) Until recently, education of deaf emphasized speech training and the deaf children also were not exposed to sign language in school.
Not being exposed to accessible language at a certain time in early childhood combined with lack of access to the educational and clinical services that expose deaf children to language at the appropriate age are all factors that contribute to language acquisition of prelingually deaf individuals.
Fluency (also called volubility and loquaciousness) is the property of a person or of a system that delivers information quickly and with expertise.
Fluency is a speech language pathology term that means the smoothness or flow with which sounds, syllables, words and phrases are joined together when speaking quickly. "Fluency disorders" is used as a collective term for cluttering and stuttering. Both disorders have breaks in the fluidity of speech, and both have the fluency breakdown of repetition of parts of speech. Fluency disorders are most often complex in nature and they tend to occur more often in boys than in girls.
Language fluency is used informally to denote broadly a high level of language proficiency, most typically foreign language or another learned language, and more narrowly to denote fluid language use, as opposed to slow, halting use. In this narrow sense, fluency is necessary but not sufficient for language proficiency: fluent language users (particularly uneducated native speakers) may have narrow vocabularies, limited discourse strategies, and inaccurate word use. They may be illiterate, as well. Native language speakers are often incorrectly referred to as fluent.
Fluency is basically one’s ability to be understood by both native and non-native listeners. A higher level would be bilingual, which indicates one is native in two languages, either having learned them simultaneously or one after the other.
In the sense of proficiency, "fluency" encompasses a number of related but separable skills:
To some extent, these skills can be acquired separately. Generally, the later in life a learner approaches the study of a foreign language, the harder it is to acquire receptive (auditory) comprehension and fluent production (speaking) skills; however, the Critical Period Hypothesis is a hotly debated topic. For instance, reading and writing skills in a foreign language can be acquired more easily after the primary language acquisition period of youth is over.][
Reading fluency is often confused with language fluency (see above). Reading fluency is the ability to read text accurately and quickly. Fluency bridges word decoding and comprehension. Comprehension is understanding what has been read. Fluency is a set of skills that allows readers to rapidly decode text while maintaining a high level of comprehension (National Reading Panel, 2001).
Reading fluency encompasses both rate of words read per minute, as well as the ability to read with expression.
A first benchmark for fluency is being able to "sight read" some words. The idea is that children will recognize on sight the most common words written in their native language and that such instant reading of these words will allow them to read and understand text more quickly.
As children learn to read, the speed at which they read becomes an important measure of fluency.
(National Reading Panel, Teaching Children to Read: An Evidence-Based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and Its Implications for Reading Instruction—Reports of the Subgroups. A complete copy of the NRP report can be read, downloaded, or ordered at no cost from the NRP website at www.nationalreadingpanel.org.)
Studies in the assessment of creativity list fluency as one of the four primary elements in creative thinking. The others being flexibility, originality and elaboration. Fluency in creative thinking is seen as the ability to think of many diverse ideas quickly.
Bilingual education involves teaching academic content in two languages, in a native and secondary language with varying amounts of each language used in accordance with the program model.
The following are several different types of bilingual education program models:
Dual Immersion classrooms encourage students' native language development, making an important contribution to heritage language maintenance and allows language minority students to remain in classrooms with their native English-speaking peers, resulting in linguistic and sociocultural advantages (Christian, 1996b). As of May 2005, there were 317 dual immersion programs operating in elementary schools in the United States in 10 different languages(Center for Applied Linguistics, 2005).
Dual Language programs are less common in US schools, although research indicates they are extremely effective in helping students learn English well and aiding the long-term performance of English learners in school. Native English speakers benefit by learning a second language. English language learners (ELLs) are not segregated from their peers.
There are many English-Spanish schools in Argentina. Several of them are in the provinces where the Irish, that were part of the local Elite, used to live.][
In Australia, some schools teach bilingual programs which cater to children speaking languages other than English. Baldauf explains that these programs are now beginning to benefit from more government support. Bilingual education for Indigenous students, however, has only received intermittent official backing. In the Northern Territory, for example, bilingual programs for Indigenous students were begun with Federal Government support in the early 1970s but by December 1998 the Northern Territory Government had announced its decision to shift $3 million away from the 29 bilingual programs to a Territory-wide program teaching English as a second language. Within 12 months though the government had softened its position. Most bilingual programs were allowed to continue under the guise of two-way education. Then on 24 August 2005, the Minister for Employment, Education and Training announced that the government would be "revitalizing bi-lingual education" at 15 Community Education Centres: Alekerange, Angurugu, Borroloola, Gapuwiyak, Gunbalunya, Kalkaringi, Lajamanu, Maningrida, Milingimbi, Ramingining, Ngkurr, Shepherdson College, Numbulwar, Yirrkala and Yuendumu. This revitalisation is conceived as part of an effort aimed at "providing effective education from pre-school through to senior secondary at each of the Territory's 15 Community Education Centres". As Harris & Devlin (1986) observe, "Aboriginal bilingual education in Australia represents much more than a range of education programs. It has been a measure of non-Aboriginal commitment to either assimilation or cultural pluralism". In 2008 it again shifted with the government attempting to force the nine remaining bilingual schools to teach the first four hours of classes in English.
In Canada, education is under provincial jurisdiction. However, the federal government has been a strong supporter of establishing Canada as a bilingual country and has helped pioneer the French immersion programs in the public education systems throughout Canada. In French-immersion, students with no previous French language training, usually beginning in Kindergarten or grade 1, do all of their school work in French. Depending on provincial jurisdiction, some provinces also offer an extended French program that begins in grade 5 which offers relatively more courses in French. In this case the student takes French immersion until grade nine but may continue throughout their high school education. Similar English-immersion programmes also exist for Francophone children.
Currently, education is generally monolingual in either English or French according to the majority population within which a school is located. The second official language is introduced with a minimal amount of allocated time provided each week in the form of just one single subject.
Quebec is Canada's only legally monolingual French-speaking province. Based on section 59 of Canada's Constitution Act of 1982, provides that not all of the language rights listed under Canada's official bilingualism policy in previous section 23 will apply in Quebec. Specifically:
(1) In Quebec, a child may be educated in English only if at least one parent or a sibling was educated in Canada in English.
(2)In New Brunswick, Canada's only officially bilingual province, students have the right to education in the official language which they understand; students able to understand both languages have the right to education in either system.
(3) In the rest of Canada, a child may be educated in French if at least one parent or a sibling was educated in Canada in French, or if at least one parent has French as his or her mother tongue (defined in section 23 as "first language learned and still understood").
One practical consequence of this asymmetry is that all migrants who arrive in Quebec from foreign countries are required to place their children in French-language schools. This includes immigrants whose mother tongue is English and immigrants who received their schooling in English.
On the other hand, Section 23 provides a nearly universal right to English-language schooling for the children of Canadian-born anglophones living in Quebec. Section 23 also provides, in theory, a nearly universal right to French-language schooling for the children of all francophones living outside Quebec, including immigrants from French-speaking countries who settle outside Quebec, and who are Canadian citizens.
Another element of asymmetry between Quebec and most anglophone provinces is that while Quebec provides public English-language primary and secondary education throughout the province, most other provinces provide French-language education only "where numbers warrant."
Canada also has bilingual programmes for first nations' languages on numerous Canadian aboriginal reservations in combination with either English, French, or both. Some programmes are gradually being established, whilst others are already long established. Most notable bilingual programmes that exist include Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, Cree, Blackfoot, Ojibwe, Mohawk, Mi'kmaq, and pacific coast Salish languages.
Many of these programmes were initially set up in the late 1980s and early 1990s by academic linguists wishing to preserve the languages, respectively - especially in areas where there either is a healthy speaking base, or an endangerment of as low as two remaining speakers of a language. Prior to this, as late as the 1970s and early 80s, First Nations and Inuit in Canada, as Native Americans in the United States, were forced into residential schools imposed on them by the Canadian government to integrate indigenous cultures into European-Canadian society. This came with the dramatic loss of the languages, religious beliefs, and cultures themselves due to widespread use of corporal punishment and mental abuse. As of 2010, new programmes are mushrooming across Canada to try to save what is left, but are often met with mixed success and funding challenges at federal, provincial, and reservation levels.
In the province of British Columbia, the city of Vancouver since 2002 has established a new bilingual Mandarin Chinese-English immersion programme at the elementary school level in order accommodate Vancouver's both historic and present strong ties to the Chinese-speaking world, already in itself having a very sizeable Chinese population local to the city. Six Vancouver schools have thusfar adopted the programme, and a secondary school track to continue thereupon is presently being designed. Other suburbs within what is referred to as the Greater Vancouver Regional District are also considering adopting the programme into a small number of schools. Similar programmes are being developed for both Hindi and Punjabi to serve in representing the large South Asian cultural community and its interests in the City of Surrey. By default, most schools in British Columbia teach through English, with French immersion options available. In both English and French-medium schools, one can study and take government exams in Japanese, Punjabi, Mandarin Chinese, French, Spanish, and German at the secondary level.
In Manitoba, Ukrainian communities have played an extensive role in the development and history of the province. Bilingual Ukrainian-English education programmes have therefore long been established, alongside smaller programmes introducing and implementing French, Icelandic in the town of Gimli, and First Nations' languages.
Private Islamic and Jewish schools across Canada also have bilingual and trilingual programmes that include Arabic or Hebrew, respectively.
In Cape Breton and other parts of Nova Scotia, a number of secondary schools now offer the option of taking introductory courses in Scottish Gaelic, as reflecting upon the province's both intimate and dark history with the Gaelic language and Highland Scottish diaspora.
In the Autonomous regions of China many children of the country's major ethnic minorities attend public schools where the medium of instructions is the local language, such as e.g. Uyghur or Tibetan. Traditionally, the textbooks there were little different from merely a translated version of the books used in the Chinese schools throughout the country; however, as of 2001, a move was on foot to create more teaching materials with locally based content.
Classes of Mandarin as second language are also offered in these minority schools, and the central government makes increasing efforts to make them more effective. A law passed in February 2001 provided for the Mandarin-as-second-language classes in the ethnic-minority schools to start in the early years of elementary school whenever local conditions permit, rather than in the senior years of elementary school, as it was practiced before.
On the other hand, it has been reported that Chinese has been used as the medium of instructions in some autonomous counties even though less than 50% of the population "spoke and understood some Chinese"; this mismatch was thought to have contributed to the low grades earned by the students on the math and Chinese exams. Presumably, the state's failure to offer instruction in the language of the county's titular ethnic group was due to the ethnic group in question being too small and/or remote to possess qualified teachers or instruction materials in their language.
In Hong Kong where both English and Cantonese are official, both languages are taught in school and are mandatory subjects. Either English or Cantonese is used as the medium of instruction for other subjects. Increasingly, there are a large number of Mandarin Chinese-speaking schools in operation throughout Hong Kong as well since 1996. Study of Mandarin is mandatory in junior years (from Grade 1 to Grade 9).
Near most of the various European Union institution sites, European Schools have been created to allow staff to have their children receive their education in their mother tongue, and at the same time to foster European spirit by (among other things) teaching at least two other European languages.
Basic instruction is given in the eleven official languages of the European Union: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. In the expansion of the Union with 10 countries in 2004 and two more in 2007, the new official languages of the EU are added. The pupil's mother tongue (L I) therefore remains his/her first language throughout the School.
Consequently, each school comprises several language sections. The curricula and syllabuses (except in the case of mother tongue) are the same in all sections.
In the Schools where the creation of a separate language section cannot be justified based on the number of students, teaching of the mother tongue and possibly mathematics is provided.
To foster the unity of the School and encourage genuine multicultural education, there is a strong emphasis on the learning, understanding and use of foreign languages. This is developed in a variety of ways:
The study of a first foreign language (English, French, or German, known as L II) is compulsory throughout the school, from first year primary up to the Baccalaureate. In secondary school, some classes will be taught in L II.
All pupils must study a second foreign language (L III), starting in the second year of secondary school. Any language available in the School may be chosen.
Pupils may choose to study a third foreign language (L IV) from the fourth year of secondary school.
Language classes are composed of mixed nationalities and taught by a native speaker.
A weekly "European Hour" in the primary school brings together children from all sections for cultural and artistic activities and games.
In the secondary school, classes in art, music and sport are always composed of mixed nationalities.
From the third year of secondary school, history and geography are studied in the pupil's first foreign language, also called the "working language" (English, French, or German). Economics, which may be taken as an option from the fourth year of the secondary school, is also studied in a working language. From the third year, therefore, all social science subjects are taught to groups of mixed nationalities.
Belgium has three official languages, Dutch, French and German. The constitution guarantees free education, so private schools can be in any language, but state(-recognised) schools teach in the language depending on the language area where it is located. For Brussels, which is an officially bilingual French-Dutch area, this means schools use either Dutch or French as medium.
Even though Belgium has two major languages (i.e. Dutch in Flanders, and French in Wallonia), bilingual instruction does not occur since Belgian law only permits education in one official language. in Flanders, bilingual instruction is only allowed as a short-term project.
France has one sole official language, French. However, regional provincial languages such as Corsican, Occitan, and Breton do have charter protection, and respectively there are bilingual education programmes and regional language course electives established. However, due to the strict French-language policy imposed by national government, there is no centrally allocated funding towards any of these programmes. All funding is done at the municipal level, with more often than not regional languages themselves facing extreme endangerment.
The Republic of Ireland has two official languages, Irish and English. With the Irish language facing endangerment, as well as the presence of regions where Irish is still spoken as native (referred to as the Gaeltacht), the Irish constitution protects and reserves the right for education to be established through the medium of either official language, and it thus is.
An Irish-medium school is referred to as Gaelscoil (plural, Gaelscoileanna) This movement has been met with some success in that 10% of the schooling in Ireland is conducted in Irish. The movement has also been successful in setting up schools in both urban and rural areas, ranging from Dublin and Cork, to the traditional Gaeltacht regions.
In the Netherlands, there are around 100 bilingual schools. In these schools, the first language (L1) is Dutch, whereas the second language (L2) is usually English and occasionally German. In the province of Friesland, which has its own official language (West Frisian language), some trilingual primary schools exist. In those schools, the children are taught in Dutch, Frisian, and English. Most bilingual secondary schools are TVWO (Tweetalig Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs or Bilingual Preparatory Scientific Education), but there is THAVO (Tweetalig Hoger Algemeen Voorbereidend Onderwijs or Bilingual Higher General Secondary Education), too. The following subjects are taught in English: arts, chemistry, physics, biology, geography, economics, physical education, drama, English, mathematics, history, music, social sciences and religious studies, but some variation may exist among schools.
In Andalusia (Spain's southernmost region), things have changed drastically concerning bilingual education since the introduction of the Plurilingualism Promotion Plan by the autonomous government. The plan was born as the realization for the Andalusian territory of the European language policies regarding the teaching and learning of languages. With special strength in the past ten years bilingual education has worked at most elementary schools.
In addition to this new European scene, the Scheme for the Promotion of Plurilingualism has learned a lot from the first experimental bilingual sections set up in some schools by the Andalusian government in 1998. Following the content-based approach, French and German were used to partly teach other subjects. This successful experience, as show the international tests that the students have been given, is the starting point for a more ambitious scene, where 400 schools will be involved in the next four years, more languages, especially English, will take part, and a lot of investigation and implementation of the Integrated Curriculum of languages must be carried out.
Being aware of the necessity of the Andalusian people to adapt to the new scenario, a major government plan, called "strategies for the second modernization of Andalusia", was designed in 2003. The document also underlined language diversity as a source of richness and a valuable heritage of humankind which needs to be looked after.
It was then clear that a scheme was needed to carry out this new language policy in the territory, especially affecting education, with clear goals, timing and funding.
The scheme is to be developed through five major programmes and also an organization and assessment plan.
The programmes are:
The full version of the Plurilingualism Promotion Plan is available in English at:
In addition to Castilian Spanish being the primary official language of Spain, the kingdom also has several co-official regional languages which enjoy equal and unbiased constitutional protection and promotion: Catalan/Valencian (in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands), Galician (in Galicia), Basque (in the Basque Country and the northern zone of Navarre) and Aranese (in Val d'Aran, Catalonia).
Many schools are bilingual in the regional language as well as Castilian at both the elementary and secondary levels. Regional universities also often provide programmes through the regional medium. Education in all co-official languages uses to receive both national and regional funding.
Unlike France in which regional languages face incredible endangerment and possible extinction, Spain's long-established approach to making regional bilingual education mandatory has served often as a model for both the survival and thriving state of the languages indigenous to the country.
Great Britain has several languages indigenous to the territory apart from English. These include Welsh (official in Wales), Irish, Manx Gaelic, Cornish, Scottish Gaelic, and the Scots language (which is often debated as a mere dialect of English).
Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and the Isle of Mann, respectively, have established bilingual programmes through which one can receive their education through the medium of that regional language. Most often, except for the cases of Manx and Cornish, these programmes exist where the language is spoken communally as a first language.
Roughly a quarter of schoolchildren in Wales now receive their education through the medium of Welsh, and children wishing to join a Welsh medium school (Welsh: ) do not have to speak Welsh to go to one if they are young enough to learn the language quickly. Welsh has been met with great success across Wales with the first Welsh medium schools opening in the 1940s and have since grown on a phenomenal rate. There are current plans to extend further provision in urban centres such as Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and Llanelli to cater for growing Welsh medium demand, this has caused controversy in some areas.
Respectively, traditional Welsh-speaking areas implement the use of Welsh-medium education almost exclusively. Parents have a legal right for their children to receive education in Welsh and each local authority have provisions to cater these needs. In the Western flank of Wales, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Gwynedd, and Anglesey most primary and secondary schools are Welsh medium or have bilingual streams. Some 75-80% of all pupils in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion receive their education through the medium of Welsh, with this figure increasing in Gwynedd to around 90%.
In English-medium education schools, the study of Welsh is compulsory and must be taught from the age of 5 - 16 in all state funded schools.
Irish Gaelic received official recognition in Northern Ireland for the first time in 1998 under the Good Friday Agreement. A cross-border body known as Foras na Gaeilge was established to promote the language in both Northern Ireland and the Republic. The British government in 2001 ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Irish Gaelic (in respect only of Northern Ireland) was specified under Part III of the Charter, thus giving it a degree of protection and status somewhat comparable to the Welsh language in Wales and Scottish Gaelic in Scotland. This included a range of specific undertakings in relation to education, translation of statutes, interaction with public authorities, the use of placenames, media access, support for cultural activities and other matters (whilst the Ulster variant of Scots, known as (Ulster Scots, was specified under Part II of the Charter.)
The Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 states: "It shall be the duty of the Department (of Education) to encourage and facilitate the development of Irish-medium education.
There are no Ulster Scots-medium schools, even at primary level.
The official language of the Union of India is Hindi, with 21 other regional languages holding co-official status, including: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
Education in India follows the Three-language formula, where children are to be taught Hindi, English and the regional language, with schools having the freedom to decide the sequence in which these languages are taught, as well as the medium of teaching. An exception is Tamil Nadu where only Tamil and English are taught.
English-medium schools often find favour with parents, especially in urban areas, due to English's international prestige, its usage in Indian business and it being the medium of instruction in most Indian universities.
In Japan, the need for bilingualism (mostly Japanese and English) has been pointed out, and there are some scholars who advocate teaching children subjects such as mathematics using English rather than Japanese.][ As part of this proposal, subjects such as history, however, would be taught solely in Japanese.
On the island of Hokkaido, the indigenous and endangered Ainu language is receiving newfound interest with establishment of a small number of bilingual Ainu-Japanese elementary schools.
There has been long standing encouragement to teach at least one other language other than Mongolian. Traditionally Russian language was taught during middle school and high school. After the 1990 transition to democracy, English language has been gaining more ground in Mongolian schools. Today many public schools at all levels teach one other language that are usually English, Russian, Korean, Japanese or Chinese. Although the core curriculum is in Mongolian, it is generally encouraged by the government and the public that the students should have some command of a secondary language when they graduate from high school. Also there are other private schools that teach their curricula in English.
Schools in the Middle East follow dual or triple language programmes. The triple language programme is most commonly found in Lebanon, Syria, and often implemented as well in Egypt. History, grammar, literature and the Arabic language are taught in the native language (Arabic), whereas Mathematics and sciences are generally taught in English and/or French. In Lebanon, however, science and mathematics are taught in either French or English, depending on the school's administration or the grade level. It is not uncommon to find French- or English- only schools, though usually these institutions are primarily international establishments.
In most Gulf countries as well as Jordan, English is introduced as a second language early on alongside the primary medium of instruction, Arabic. In Iraq however, triple language programmes are, like in Lebanon and Syria, normal, except rather than using French, Kurdish is taught alongside Arabic and English due to Iraq's considerably sized Kurdish minority in the north, and bilingual official language policy regarding Kurdish.
In Morocco, Berber can be used as a regional medium of elementary education, with widespread use of French and Arabic come later grades. Due to Morroco's long history with French colonialism, alongside neighbouring countries including Algeria and Tunisia, sole French-medium education is very widespread, with Arabic being introduced and taught as a second language, as well as the study of a third language later on, usually either English, Spanish, or Italian (in Libya).
Normally, Israelis are taught in either Hebrew or Arabic depending on religion and ethnicity. Within the standard education system, thorough study of English is compulsory, and depending on the primary medium of education, Arabic or Hebrew are introduced as third languages with significantly lesser emphasis placed on achieving solid proficiency. Within Hebrew-medium programmes, other foreign languages such as French, German, Russian, or Yiddish can often be studied as well.
Israel is also home to several international schools whereby the sole medium of education is either English or French. In general, as English is taught early on across all Israeli schools, most Israelis become comfortably bilingual, much like what one would see in The Netherlands or Scandinavian countries. This in combination with a large proportion of English-language programming on television that is merely subtitled and seldom dubbed.
Recent peace initiatives have also lead to a small number of bilingual and multi-religious schools in which both Hebrew and Arabic are used in equal emphasis. The Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish Arab Education in Israel runs four bilingual schools, and the Neve Shalom peace village also hosts a local school.
In July 2009 Department of Education moved towards mother-tongue based learning initially by issuing an order which allowed two alternative three-year bridging plans. Depending on the bridging plan adopted, the Filipino and English languages are to be phased in as the language of instruction beginning in the third and fourth grades. Other Philippine regional languages are taught in schools, colleges and universities located in their respective provinces.
Since the mid-1990s bilingual approaches to schooling and higher education have become popular in parts of South-east Asia, especially in Thailand and Malaysia where different models have been applied, from L2 immersion (content taught in a non-native language) to parallel immersion, where core subjects are taught in both the mother-tongue and a second language (usually English). The Malaysian government recently reversed its decision to have Maths and Science taught in English, but is implementing different programmes designed to improve English language teaching within schools. Wichai Wittaya Bilingual School in Chaing Mai (1995), Siriwat Wittaya Bilingual School in Bangkok(2004) , Chindemanee School English Program (2005), The Sarasas model, pioneered by the Sarasas schools affiliation in Thailand,are exemplars of parallel immersion.][ The English for Integrated Studies project model at Sunthonphu Pittaya Secondary School(SPSS), Rayong, Thailand, is an exemplar of the use of English for integrated studies in Math, Science and IT, taught by non-native English speaking Thai teachers. This project is under the auspices of the International Study Program of Burapha University.][ Panyaden School is an example of a private bilingual school in North Thailand that provides its students with a Thai-English education (each class has a Thai teacher and native-English speaking teacher).
The difficulties and disputes characteristic of the US experience have not been replicated in these Asian countries, though they are not without controversy. Generally, it can be said that there is widespread acknowledgment of the need to improve English competence in the population, and bilingual approaches, where language is taught through subject content, are seen to be the most effective means of attaining this. The most significant limiting factors are the shortage of teachers linguistically competent to teach in a second language and the costs involved in use of expatriate native speakers for this purpose.
In Singapore, education is bilingual. The medium of instruction is in English and the learning of the mother tongue is compulsory. The mother tongue subject is usually Mandarin, Malay or Tamil, the other official languages of Singapore. They are taught till pre-university level but a student can choose to learn a third language (German, French, Japanese, etc.) in later school years.][
Bilingual education in the U.S. focuses on English Language Learners (ELL). According to the U.S. Department of Education website, a bilingual education program is "an educational program for limited English proficient students". (The Office of English Language Acquisition, 2009).][ The term "limited English proficiency" remains in use by the federal government, but has fallen out of favor elsewhere. According to Bankstreet's Literacy Guide this shift is due to the fact that the term ELL represents a more accurate reflection of language acquisition. The term "English language learner" is now preferred in schools and educational research to refer to a student whose first language is not English and who needs language support services in order to succeed in school.
In the fifty states of the United States, proponents of the practice argue that it will not only help to keep non-English-speaking children from falling behind their peers in math, science, and social studies while they master English, but such programs teach English better than English-only programs. For many students, the process of learning literacy and a new language simultaneously is simply an overwhelming task, so bilingual programs began as a way to help such students develop native language literacy first - research by Cummins, a central researcher in the field, shows that skills such as literacy developed in a first language will transfer to English. Opponents of bilingual education argue that it delays students' mastery of English, thereby retarding the learning of other subjects as well. In California, where at least one-third of students are enrolled in bilingual classes, there has been considerable politicking for and against bilingual education.
The very first instance of bilingual education in the United States occurred with Polish immigrants in the first permanent English settlement of Virginia in what is now the United States. The Poles provided the community with manufactured pitch necessary to prevent the sinking of ships, and glass works among other industries. When the House of Burgesses met in 1619, the rights extended only to Englishmen. The Poles, in turn, launched the first recorded strike in the New World. In dire need of their skills and industries, the Poles received the "rights of Englishmen," and established the first bilingual schools with subjects taught in English and Polish. From this first documented historic beginning, bilingual education existed in some form or another in the United States. During the 18th century, Franciscan missionaries from California to Texas used indigenous languages for translating and teaching the Catholic catechism to Native Americans. By the mid-19th century, private and public bilingual schools had include such native languages as Czech, Dutch, French, German, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish. Ohio became the first state in 1839, to adopt a bilingual education law, authorizing German-English instruction at parents' request. Louisiana enacted an identical provision for French and English in 1847, and the New Mexico Territory did so for Spanish and English in 1850. By the end of the 19th century, about a dozen states had passed similar laws. Elsewhere, many localities provided bilingual instruction without state sanction, in languages as diverse as Norwegian, Italian, Polish, Czech, and Cherokee. Beginning in 1959, public schools in Miami introduced bilingual programs. In 1968 the U.S., with Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or, informally, the Bilingual Education Act, Congress first mandated bilingual education in order to give immigrants access to education in their "first" language. The Act was amended in 1988. Federal spending on bilingual education jumped from $7.5 million in 1968 to $150 million by 1979.
A 1974 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Lau v. Nichols, gave further momentum to bilingual education. Here, the Court held that San Francisco schools violated minority language students' rights when they educated students in the same classes as other students without special provisions.
Taken together, the Bilingual Education Act and the Lau v. Nichols ruling mandated that schools needed to at least provide some type of services to support English language learners, though neither specified what type of educational program needed to be provided. As such, both bilingual and English-only programs flourished after the law's passage and the court ruling.
The Bilingual Education Act was terminated in 2001 by new federal education policy, with the passage of No Child Left Behind by the U.S. Congress. This law offers no support for native language learning, but rather emphasized accountability in English only, and mandates that all students, including ELLs, are tested yearly in English.
The majority of U.S. high school students in the United States are required to take at least one to two years of a second language. The vast majority of these classes are either French or Spanish. In a large number of schools this is taught in a manner known as FLES, in which students learn about the second language in a manner similar to other subjects such as mathematics or science. Some schools use an additional method known as FLEX in which the "nature of the language" and culture are also taught. High school education almost never uses "immersion" techniques.
In recent times there has been a lot of discussion about bilingual education. In the 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Horne v. Flores, the majority opinion stated, "Research on ELL instruction indicates there is documented, academic support for the view that SEI (Structured English Immersion) is significantly more effective than bilingual education."
Proponents of bilingual education claim that it is not only easier for students to learn English if they are literate in their first language, but that such students will learn English better and become bilingual and biliterate. Proponents further claim that effective bilingual programs strive to achieve proficiency in both English and the students' home language. Dual language or Two-Way bilingual programs are one such approach, whereby half of the students speak English and half are considered English language learners (ELLs). The teacher instructs in English and in the ELLs' home language. The dual purpose of this type of classroom is to teach the children a new language and culture, and language diversity in such classrooms is seen as a resource. Programs in English only eradicate the native languages immigrants bring to this country, while dual language bilingual programs serve to maintain such languages in an "additive" context, where a new language is added without the first being lost. One paper states that two-way developmental bilingual education programs in elementary school have the most success in language minority students' long term academic achievement. These students will maintain their gains in academic performance in secondary level academic classes. Another study shows the positive results of a two-way bilingual education program. Some people make the mistake that once a student can converse in English (Basic interpersonal communication skills - BICS), they will naturally perform well academically (cognitive academic language proficiency - CALP) in English. It has been postulated that BICS and CALP are two different sets of skills.
Opponents of bilingual education claim that students with other primary languages besides Spanish are placed in Spanish classes rather than taught in their native languages and that many bilingual education programs fail to teach students English. Critics of bilingual education have claimed that studies supporting bilingual education tend to have poor methodologies and that there is little empirical support in favor of it.
The controversy over bilingual education is often enmeshed in a larger political and cultural context. Opponents of bilingual education are sometimes accused of racism and xenophobia. This is especially so in the case of such groups as English First, which is a conservative organization that promotes the stance that English should be the official language of the United States. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin and other cities, Minister of education of the Young Lords, Tony Baez and others held marches and other activities to promote bilingual education. Proponents of bilingual education are frequently accused of practicing identity politics, to the detriment of children and of immigrants. "To aid and monitor the education of English language learners (ELL)through mother-tongue and English education, the federal government enacted the Bilingual Education Act (Title V11) of the elementary and secondary Education Act in 1968. As an offshoot of president Lyndon B. Johnson's war on poverty, the act strove to help disenfranchised language-miniority students, especially Hispanics. Unfortunately, the acts aims were somewhat ambiguous. As Crawford (2000a) writes 'enacted at the apex of the Great Society, bilingual education act of 1968 passed congress without a single dissent. Americans have spent the past 30 years debating what it was meant to accomplish'" (p. 107).
California is the state with the highest number of English Learners (ELs) in the United States. One out of three students in California is an EL. In June 1998, Proposition 227 was passed by 61% of the California electorate. This proposition mandates that ELs be placed in structured English immersion for a period "not normally to exceed one year," then be transferred to mainstream classrooms taught "overwhelmingly in English." This proposition also gave parents the possibility to request alternative programs for their children, however, the availability of waivers and information to parents have been a challenge in the implementation of this proposition.
In 2000, the California Department of Education contracted with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and WestEd to conduct a five-year evaluation of the effects of Proposition 227. The study methodology focused on "A combination of student achievement analysis, phone interviews, case study site visits, and written surveys was used to examine such questions as how the proposition was implemented, which EL services are most and least effective, and what unintended consequences resulted from Proposition 227's implementation."
The authors caution about the limitations in the statewide data. California does not have the capacity to link student academic progress over time across years; however, using student-level linked data over time from the Los Angeles Unified School District, and complementing that analysis with surveys, site visits and interviews, the study found "no conclusive evidence favoring one instructional program over another." Students who remained in bilingual education have similar academic growth trajectories when compared with students who switched to English Immersion.
California, among other states, also has many public schools which have Immersion programs, most commonly Spanish/English Immersion but also including other languages. Immersion programs include native speakers of both languages and include instruction in both languages, with primary (grade) schools typically having 90% instruction in the minority language in the early grade, transitioning to 50% instruction in each of the minority language and English in the upper grades.
California was followed by Arizona in the passage of similar legislation, Arizona Proposition 203, which ended several programs previously available to ESL students. Arizona was the first state to provide bilingual education in the 1960s.
During the 1990s the state of Georgia increased its foreign born population by 233%. That was the second largest increase in the country, and presently Georgia is the sixth fastest growing state in the United States. Georgia has the seventh largest illegal immigrant population in the country; in the 2000 census 228,000 illegal immigrants lived in the state. During the 1980s and 1990s a labor shortage in the carpet industry contributed to an increase in the Hispanic population of Whitfield County, Georgia. Today almost half of the students in the Dalton (the hub of Whitfield County) public schools are Hispanic.
Erwin Mitchell, a local Dalton lawyer, founded the Georgia Project in 1996 to help teach the influx of Hispanic students who have moved into the Dalton public schools. The Georgia Project partners with the University of Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico to bring teachers from Mexico to Georgia Schools. Sixty teachers from the University of Monterrey have taught in Georgia since 1997, and they typically teach for two to three years on H-1B visas. The Georgia Project also has a Summer Institute that trains American teachers to speak Spanish and learn about Mexican culture. The Georgia Project is a bilingual/bicultural program that is primarily funded from federal education appropriations.
In 2002, more than two-thirds of Massachusetts' voters supported an initiative replacing bilingual education programs with "one-year" English Immersion instruction. The initiative was supported by the ProEnglish campaign and the Republican Mitt Romney, who at the time was campaigning to become Governor of Massachusetts. The close to 30,000 bilingual education students within Massachusetts were forced to enter classrooms where they would be instructed specifically and intensively in English.
Following similar First Nations' models to Canada, academic linguists throughout the United States are working closely with Native American reservations communities to establish immersion and second-language programs for a number of respective tribal languages including Navajo, Hopi, Cherokee, Ojibwe, Lakhota, and Sioux, among others. Due to the combination of often a violent and isolative relationship between European settlers and Native Americans, their languages and communities have suffered dramatically in terms of facing extreme endangerment or extinction. The success of these programmes is mixed, depending largely on how healthy the status of the language in question is.
However, English-medium education still remains most widely used. Native programs often suffer a lack of state support in terms of funding or encouragement due in large part to the strong preference towards a melting-pot society. Native American boarding schools, which enforced white American values and the English language were extensively used as late as the 1990s, and were notorious for implementing corporal punishment if a Native child was caught speaking his or her language or freely practicing their tribal faith.
Thomas, W.P., & Collier, V.P. (1997). Two languages are better than one. Educational Leadership, 55(4), 23-26.
Post-lingual deafness is a deafness which develops after the acquisition of speech and language, usually after the age of six.
Post-lingual hearing impairments are far less common than prelingual deafness. Typically, hearing loss is gradual, and often detected by family and friends of the people so affected long before the patients themselves will acknowledge the disability.
In some cases, the loss is extremely sudden and can be traced to specific diseases, such as meningitis, or to ototoxic medications, such as Gentamicin. In both cases, the final degree of loss varies. Some experience only partial loss, while others become profoundly deaf. Hearing aids and cochlear implants may be used to regain a sense of hearing, with different people experiencing differing degrees of success. It is possible that the affected person may need to rely on speech-reading and/or sign language for communication.
In most cases the loss is a long term degradation in hearing loss. Discrediting earlier notions of presbycusis, Rosen demonstrated that long term hearing loss is usually the product of chronic exposure to environmental noise in industrialized countries (Rosen, 1965). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has asserted the same sentiment and testified before the U.S. Congress that approximately 34 million Americans are exposed to noise pollution levels (mostly from roadway and aircraft noise) that expose humans to noise health effects including the risk of hearing loss (EPA, 1972).
Certain genetic conditions can also lead to post-lingual deafness. In contrast to genetic causes of pre-lingual deafness, which are frequently autosomal recessive, genetic causes of post-lingual deafness tend to be autosomal dominant
In cases where the causes are environmental, the treatment is to eliminate or reduce these causes first of all, and then to fit patients with a hearing aid, especially if they are elderly. When the loss is due to heredity, total deafness is often the end result. On the one hand, persons who experience gradual deterioration of their hearing are fortunate in that they have learned to speak. On the other, they often experience social isolation, because they can no longer understand their friends, who cannot communicate effectively with them. Ultimately the affected person may bridge communication problems by becoming skilled in speech-reading, accepting elective surgery to use a prosthetic devices such as a cochlear implant, using a hearing aid, or acquiring skill in sign language for communication.
Those who lose their hearing later in life, such as in late adolescence or adulthood, face their own challenges. For example, they must adjust to living with the adaptations that make it possible for them to live independently. They may have to adapt to using hearing aids or a cochlear implant, develop speech-reading skills, and/or learn sign language. The affected person may need to use a TTY, a videophone, an interpreter, or relay service to communicate over the telephone. Loneliness and depression can arise as a result of isolation (from the inability to communicate with friends and loved ones) and difficulty in accepting their disability. The challenge is made greater by the need for those around them to adapt to the person's hearing loss.
Bilingual education involves teaching academic content in two languages, in a native and secondary language with varying amounts of each language used in accordance with the program model.
The following are several different types of bilingual education program models:
Language acquisition is the process by which humans acquire the capacity to perceive and comprehend language, as well as to produce and use words and sentences to communicate. Language acquisition is one of the quintessential human traits, because nonhumans do not communicate by using language. Language acquisition usually refers to first-language acquisition, which studies infants' acquisition of their native language. This is distinguished from second-language acquisition, which deals with the acquisition (in both children and adults) of additional languages.
The capacity to successfully use language requires one to acquire a range of tools including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and an extensive vocabulary. Language can be vocalized as in speech, or manual as in sign. The human language capacity is represented in the brain. Even though the human language capacity is finite, one can say and understand an infinite number of sentences, which is based on a syntactic principle called recursion. Evidence suggests that every individual has three recursive mechanisms that allow sentences to go indeterminately. These three mechanisms are: relativization, complementation and coordination. Multilingualism
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was passed as a part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty" and has been the most far-reaching federal legislation affecting education ever passed by Congress. The act is an extensive statute that funds primary and secondary education, while explicitly forbidding the establishment of a national curriculum. It also emphasizes equal access to education and establishes high standards and accountability. In addition, the bill aims to shorten the achievement gaps between students by providing each child with fair and equal opportunities to achieve an exceptional education. As mandated in the act, the funds are authorized for professional development, instructional materials, for resources to support educational programs, and for parental involvement promotion. The act was originally authorized through 1970; however, the government has reauthorized the act every five years since its enactment. The current reauthorization of ESEA is the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, named and proposed by President George W. Bush. The ESEA also allows military recruiters access to 11th and 12th grade students' names, addresses, and telephone listings when requested.
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