Language Loss

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Language Loss

  1. 1. LANGUAGE LOSS CDE (2007). Preschool English learners: Principles and practices to promote language, literacy and learning . Sacramento, CA: CDE Press
  2. 2. LANGUAGE LOSS <ul><li>Language loss occurs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When a minority group member cannot do the things with the minority language that he or she used to be able to do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When some of the proficiency is no longer accessible. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Language loss may also refer to incomplete or imperfect learning of a language spoken in childhood. </li></ul>
  3. 3. LANGUAGE LOSS <ul><li>Children rarely have both languages in balance. </li></ul><ul><li>One language is usually stronger than the other in regards to exposure, use, and proficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>When this type of language dominance happens, the elements of the other language can quickly be lost. </li></ul>
  4. 4. LOSING HOME LANGUAGE <ul><li>The child can forget vocabulary and even rules of grammar in the language that is not used as often. </li></ul><ul><li>Many bilingual children lose much of their home language as they go through the U.S. school system and their exposure to English increases. </li></ul><ul><li>Even when parents continue to use the first language with their children, it may not develop in the same way that the second language does. </li></ul>
  5. 5. LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY <ul><li>During this process, the child may appear to have limited proficiency in both languages. </li></ul><ul><li>Child is undergoing a developmental phase </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the lack of use of the first language results in a decline in proficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the child's knowledge of the second language is not yet at an age-appropriate level. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most children attain age-appropriate levels in the second language, although they may retain an accent and transfer elements of their first language that mark them as non-native speakers. </li></ul>
  6. 6. WHAT CAN TEACHERS DO? <ul><li>Must realize that this phase in language development is temporary. </li></ul><ul><li>Even though a bilingual child's performance in either language appears to lag behind that of monolingual speakers, the child may actually possess a total or combined vocabulary and language skills larger than those of monolingual speakers. </li></ul><ul><li>What looks like deficiencies in both languages should be more appropriately described as language imbalance. </li></ul><ul><li>At certain points in the development of their languages, bilingual children do not perform as well as do native speakers in either language. </li></ul>
  7. 7. BILINGUAL CHILDREN <ul><li>Eventually, most bilingual children are able to come up to age-level proficiency in their dominant language </li></ul><ul><li>Need enough exposure and opportunities to use that language. </li></ul>
  8. 8. BALANCED BILINGUALISM <ul><li>The age at which a child reaches this more balanced level of bilingualism is dependent on a variety of factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the age at which the child begin acquisition of each language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the quality and quantity of exposure to each language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the social climate surrounding the use of each language </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. MAINTAIN PRIMARY LANGUAGE <ul><li>A language will be maintained only through exposure to speakers of that language and opportunities to use it. </li></ul><ul><li>For many children, a significant reduction in use of the home language leads to home language loss. </li></ul><ul><li>When children are older, many regret having lost proficiency in their first language. </li></ul>
  10. 10. COST TO THE FAMILY <ul><li>If older children and adolescents cannot communicate well with their parents or grandparents the cost to the family can be great </li></ul><ul><ul><li>loss of communication with family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>loss of respect for the parents and relatives who speak the home language </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. HOME LANGUAGE OPPORTUNITIES <ul><li>Families should provide sufficient opportunities for children to speak their home language so that it can be maintained. </li></ul><ul><li>Some families enroll their child in after-school or weekend &quot;foreign&quot; language classes. </li></ul><ul><li>Support the development of the home language and connect the child to the culture associated with that language community. </li></ul><ul><li>Such options are not available in all communities or they may be too expensive for many immigrant families. </li></ul>
  12. 12. PARENT QUOTE <ul><li>I spoke only Spanish until I started school. I can’t remember exactly when it happened, but eventually I lost most of it. I can communicate with my parents, I understand what they’re saying, but I often have trouble finding the right words to answer them. Sometimes they even laugh at my attempts. That’s why I don’t want Breanna to lose the Spanish she learned and used when she was staying with my parents. I want her to keep her home language. I’m glad you use both English and Spanish in the classroom. </li></ul>
  13. 13. ASK YOURSELF <ul><li>How can I make sure that the children have plenty of opportunities to engage in conversation with both peers and adults so that their language development will flourish? </li></ul><ul><li>How can I balance the amount of talking I do in order to allow the children to participate more through their own use of language? </li></ul>
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