Archive for March 11th, 2009
I was recently interviewed for a national parents’ magazine on bilingualism (if it gets published, I’ll provide the reference and link). The reporter was asking a relatively general question on language development in bilinguals compared to monolinguals. First, I found it difficult to crystallize a complex issue into, literally, a 7-minute interview. Second, it reinforced my notion about the myths about language development in bilinguals that still prevail. When I responded that there is research to show that there are cases in which bilinguals can be more advanced than monolinguals, she interrupted me citing the fact that pediatricians tell parents that development in bilinguals is slower than monolinguals. I interjected, “yes, but…it depends.” It depends on the age of the child, how they came to acquire the two languages, how much input they receive, and output they produce, etc. I know issues about proficiency have been written about on this blog before so I won’t repeat them here. I will say, however, that we have looked at this issue in terms of speech sound development, and I will write about that in an upcoming post. Suffice it to say that these variables clearly influence language development in bilinguals. I tried, without much success, to tell the reporter this. Anyway, we do know that bilingual children might show language skills that are more advanced, less advanced, or commensurate in comparison to monolinguals. So, how does this relate to speech sound development in this group of children?
This is another question. I guess I need to understand the difference between blogging and posting questions. It may be that I have very little to contribute to this field other than posing questions and more questions.
Anyway, Does anyone know of a computer based (aka MRC psycholinguistic database) for Spanish word frequency. There are few published references but none that are easily accessible and comparable to English frequency data bases. Also, if someone knows of French databases that will come in handy too.