by Ademi Yestayeva
1. Genesee, Fred, and Kathryn Lindholm-Leary. “Dual Language Education in Canada and the United States.” Encyclopedia of Language and Education, edited by Nancy H. Hornberger, second ed., vol. 1, New York: Springer, 2008, pp. 253–266. Scholars Portal, www.library.yorku.ca/find/Record/2286039.
The article is a peer-reviewed scholarly secondary source that provides substantial information and extensive research on the history and the essence of the phenomenon of bilingualism (English and French in Canada, and English and Spanish in United States) and the beginning of language immersion in North America in 1960s.
The text examines the socio-economic and cultural reasons behind the necessity of bilingualism (English and French) in Canada, and the importance of a respectful relationship between English Canadians and French Canadians for a prospering and functioning society. It explores the development of bilingualism from an early stage, when French had an inferior status and was often prohibited to use. It explains the Quiet Revolution that occurred in Quebec in 1960s. This is a crucial moment for understanding the reason behind and the further development of the bilingual culture in Canada, which is the topic of my episode. It also explains the immersion program models that were first introduced back then, and the many benefits that kind of learning environment had on the students, which should encourage monolingual Canadians to express more interest in learning the other official language, and helping Canada maintain the bilingual culture that is crucial to its essence and national identity.
My initial topic was official bilingualism in Canada, and though I have shifted to the general effect that bilingualism has on people's lives, this article still fits perfectly in my script, because it provides important information on bilingualism in the 20th century, back when it was seen in a negative light, which is what my first vignette is dedicated to, as it is crucial to understanding the current condition of bilingualism. The great thing about the article is that it includes information on both Canada and the US, allowing the reader to compare the two countries, the greatness of which was built on immigration and mixing of cultures and ethnicities, and of course languages, too.
2. Lepage, Jean-François and Jean-Pierre Corbeil. 2013. “The evolution of English–French bilingualism in Canada from 1961 to 2011.” Insights on Canadian Society, May, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 75-006-X.
The statistical source demonstrates the evolution of the phenomenon of bilingualism in Canada over the past 6 decades. It explicitly refers to the ability to speak both English and French in the context of Canada's culture and society as 'official bilingualism'. It shows the trends in the increase and decrease of the bilingual population, with special emphasis on the contribution of Quebec to the bilingual popultion in Canada.
It demonstrates that despite the growth in population, the bilingual part of it has been fluctuating, without Quebec taken into account, where the process has always been steady. The statistics also provide interesting information on the ‘bilingual belt’, an area of Canada where the vast majority of the bilingual population is concentrated. It includes the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick.
There are two reasons for the the fact that the rate of official bilingualism in Canada has dropped: English-speaking students outside of Quebec are less exposed and less interested in learning French, and there are a lot of bilingual immigrants coming into the country who don’t speak the official languages to the point where they could add to the ‘official bilingual’ population of Canada. I think these statistics would be an interesting 'fun fact' (something like 'did you know...?') to use in the episode, because I feel like this is not something you hear about in the news, or even online, unless you look specifically, and even if you do, you do not pay much attention to it. I imagine some Canadians who take pride in Canada's bilingual cultural identity but only speak English (or French), could possibly either consider learning French (English) themselves or enrolling their children/grandchildren in French (English) immersion programs in order to contribute to preserving Canada's bilingual status in the long run.
* Week 2 Bibliography entry is for my previous topic. I shifted from the bilingual situation in Canada to the way bilingualism generally shapes bilingual people's life experiences.
3. Jones, Tobias. “The Joys and Benefits of Bilingualism | Tobias Jones.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 20 Jan. 2018, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/21/the-joys-and-benefits-of-bilingualism.
The opinion piece was one of my two choices on my second topic of bilingualism. I am sticking with the first opinion piece, and using this one as a popular source. The article was written by the father of bilingual children for the renowned British newspaper The Guardian.
What I really like about the article is that even though It's evident from the title that it advocates for the benefits of bilingualism, it also mentions the downsides of it, such as immigrants experiencing xenophobia, which is often completely omitted in popular media. The opinion piece draws in the reader with the author's own experience of living in Italy as an English speaker, and includes a significant amount of information on bilingualism in terms of research, history, current social situation, statistics, and a discussion on what bilingualism essentially is.
What especially stood out to me in the article was the fact that the school that topped the Sunday Times school league, which is a list of top schools in the UK, consists of 96% students who speak English as an additional language, which proves the claim that maintaining a native language at home is beneficial for learning the community language, contrary to the earlier existing skepticism of bilingualism. Another notable research proving the prejudice wrong comes from University of Toronto, where it was discovered that students who were literate in their native language demonstrated "CALP" (cognitive academic language proficiency) in a secondary language sooner than those without a strong native language background. The conclusion that can be drawn is that it is far more beneficial for children of immigrants to be exposed to a rich and eloquent native language at home, rather than a basic conversational English, because then they would be able to transfer their understanding of language to a different one and learn it more efficiently.
The aforementioned information is for my second vignette that presents points in favour of the "bilingual advantage" in the academic sense. Since my episode is concerned with the way being bilingual shapes people's lives in different terms and aspects, this data is a reassuring idea that explicitly supports in favour of maintaining a native language at home and raising bilingual children for it will definitely come in handy later in life.
4. Kinzler, Katherine. “The Superior Social Skills of Bilingualism.” The New York Times, 11 Mar. 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/opinion/sunday/the-superior-social-skills-of-bilinguals.html.
This New York Times article is a popular source that draws the reader in with a bold and confident title. I believe it is a primary source as it was written by the same person who was conducting research presented in the article, an Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development at Cornell University.
As it turns out, apart from all the more obvious advantages of bilingualism, bilinguals appear to have better social skills. And not only bilinguals, but also monolinguals who have been frequently exposed to two or more languages spoken around them. This was proved when both bilinguals and monolinguals from multilingual environments performed similarly on a task that required to consider someone else's perspective before choosing an object. Children aged 4-6 were asked to move the small car out of the three different-sized cars in front of them (small, medium, large), but since the person asking them was not able to see the smallest car, they were most probably referring to the medium one. The reason why the children from multilingual environments performed better is rather obvious: living with a few languages, they have to consider who speaks which language, and how well they speak it, and the different settings for different languages and other nuances. This sharpens their perception of the people around them, and subsequently their social skills, too.
The authors thoughts that maybe this was another side-effect of bilingualism that had to do with the improved cognitive functions, but when all the participants did the standard cognitive test of the executive function, bilinguals performed better than monolinguals, and even the kids from multilingual environments, concluding that the enhanced social skills stemmed from frequent and consistent multilingual exposure. I think this is really interesting as it shows that most of the effect of bilingualism lies deep and displays itself in curious ways, although not completely surprising when thought about. This article, though a popular source, provides exciting new data about bilingualism through research. It will fit just right into my second vignette, which focuses on the pros of bilingualism that initially inspired the opinion piece which in turn caused a response from me.
The opinion piece with a bold title “Why Bilinguals Are Smarter”, written by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, and posted in the New York Times originally on March 17, 2012, was recently resurfaced from the archives to remind people of the pleasantly surprising effect of bilingualism. Bhattacharjee explains that being able to converse in more than one language isn’t just convenient in our globalized World. Speaking two languages with an analogous frequency and fluency – that is, being bilingual – has a profound effect on your brain!
The popular opinion that existed in the 20th century was that one language was a hindrance for the other. It’s true that both language systems are active even when only one is being used, but au contraire - it’s a blessing in disguise, as Bhattacharjee puts it. The two languages competing for dominance provide the mental stimulation that forces the brain to resolve the inner conflict, leading to fundamental improvement of the cognitive functions, and even postpones the onset of dementia. In other words, the bilingual brain is kind of like the muscular guy at the gym doing push-ups with one hand and his friend sitting on his back.
All of this is great news for all the bilingual and multilingual folks out there, who comprise approximately half of the World’s population, including 47% of Toronto, as reported in 2006, and the numbers are increasing due to high rates of immigration.
Now, the benefits of bilingualism that Bhattacharjee mentions are phenomenal, but it’s only natural that every coin has two sides. Bilinguals aren’t two monolinguals in one person: they tend to have smaller vocabularies in both languages than a person fluent in just one. They experience tip-of-the-tongue moments, when you can’t remember the word that you wanted to use, twice as much as their monolinguals peers, which can be embarrassing. But most importantly, they might experience difficulties with social integration – simply put, racism and xenophobia, when migrating to a different country and learning its language or languages for work, studies and communication.
How did it come to this reality where speaking a bunch of languages is becoming more and more common, as compared to the 20th century, when maintaining more than one language was prohibited and discouraged in some places? And what is the real experience of bilinguals nowadays, whether they’ve been speaking two languages since infancy, or learned a second language in an older age? Do the advantages of bilingualism outweigh the different kinds of drawbacks, be they academic or social? Let’s find out!
5. Costa, Albert, and Núria Sebastián-Gallés. “How Does the Bilingual Experience Sculpt the Brain?” Nature Reviews Neuroscience, vol. 15, no. 5, 2014, pp. 336–345., doi:10.1038/nrn3709.
This peer-reviewed academic article, the authors of which are mentioned in my opinion piece, is the result of extensive research in the field of bilingualism. It investigates 3 big distinctive areas of bilingualism. The first one is focused on infants and the way they learn to distinguish two languages. Second is the neural effect that a second language has on the first language, referred to as the 'bilingual effect', in young adults who became bilingual at an older age. And the last and most important for my episode is the general effects of bilingualism on the cognitive functions of the brain outside of the language-involved area. The life-long effect of bilingualism was observed in infants, children, young adults and the elderly, both those who have been bilingual since birth and from an older age.
There is a great amount of valuable information present in the article, but I am choosing to focus on the parts that have been mentioned in the opinion piece that I've chosen, because I think they are the most general and important as the base for the broad audience. This includes the "bilingual effect" on the executive control system of the brain, which was the main idea of my chosen opinion piece . The research in this area has only been conducted fairly recently, and it reveals that bilingualism alters the functional involvement of certain brain areas in performing various tasks. In non-linguistic tasks, bilinguals used larger portions of the left hemisphere of the brain (responsible for language control) than monolinguals. In conflict monitoring tasks they seemed to use fewer brain resources, showing less activity in anterior cingulate cortex (responsible for decision-making, emotion, impulse control). They also demonstrated a higher volume of grey matter in that area, which proves the effect of bilingualism on parts of the brain responsible for executive control processes.
All of these findings are important as they illustrate that bilingualism, indeed, affects the brain and its functionality, in some ways prompting a bilingual to perform better than their monolingual counterpart, but the authors of the article also acknowledge that none of the studies indicate that being bilingual actually makes one smarter, as compared to being monolingual, or that infants suffer more from being exposed to two languages, which is another negative notion related to bilingualism that has been around for decades. The authors express how important this awareness is socially, and that myths of these nature need to be debunked, and since I couldn't agree more, I intend on discussing this in my podcast with reference to this great article.
6. TED-Ed. "The benefits of a bilingual brain - Mia Nacamulli." Youtube.com, TED-Ed, 23 June 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMmOLN5zBLY.
The TED-Ed video lesson is a popular source based on evident academic research and compressed to bite-size chunks of information. It is very similar to the opinion piece that I chose in terms of explaining what bilingualism essentially is and what kind of advantages it has to a broad audience in a simple, engaging, and entertaining way. It encompasses almost all aspects of bilingualism and its effect that I intend to explore in my episode, except it only focuses on the positive side (advantages), and I want to include every possible perspective that would help understand the real effect of bilingualism. I regard this video as an example for my work, and I want my episode to be as informative, non-overwhelming and easy to follow.
It is a great source for a number of reasons: 1) it starts by examining what language abilities are; 2) it introduces the general 3 types of bilinguals with a relevant example of an immigrant family (something I haven't encountered in other popular sources); 3) it mentions the relationship between the brain functions and language, and it introduces the Critical Period Hypothesis (linked to an ideal time for learning language). It also gives a background story to the previously existing prejudices of bilingualism, which is something I intend to do as well.
But most importantly, what makes this video a much better popular source than many others out there, including my chosen opinion piece, is that while it focuses on the benefits of bilingualism, it's not as filled with propaganda, simply explaining how things work, which is what I want to do with my episode, too. It acknowledges that bilingualism does not necessarily make people smarter, though it does make the brain "healthier and more actively engaged", which is different from the idea of my chosen opinion piece and many other articles that focus on the benefits of bilingualism, as they tend to have a cheerleading tone and exaggerate the reality, giving off the impression that bilinguals are some kind of super-humans. The TED-Ed video also encourages people to learn a second language, which is the message that I want to convey somewhere towards the end of my episode.
7. Bialystok, Ellen, et al. “Bilingualism: Consequences for Mind and Brain.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences, vol. 16, no. 4, Apr. 2012, pp. 240–250. Scholars Portal, doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2012.03.001.
This peer-reviewed scholarly article is a secondary source that reflects on various research data done in the field of bilingualism to produce a comprehensible overview of the effect that bilingualism has on the mind and the brain. Interestingly, one of the authors, Dr. Ellen Bialystok, is a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University, and most of her research work is dedicated to the effect of bilingualism on cognitive processes. She is one of the best specialists in the field, which can be seen as almost every popular source on bilingualism references her work.
This article acknowledges the not so flattering effects of bilingualism supported by numerous studies and extensive research: that bilinguals have smaller vocabularies compared to monolinguals, and it takes them more time and effort to retrieve simple words even in their dominant language. However, despite scoring less on verbal fluency tasks, bilinguals demonstrated better executive control than monolinguals within similar backgrounds. Executive control is the set of cognitive skills responsible for high-level though, multitasking, and sustained memory. This is the central idea and argument of the opinion piece that I've chosen. But in this article I choose to focus on the shielding effect that bilingualism has on the brain later in life, also known as the cognitive reserve. The idea is that constantly engaging in stimulating physical and mental activities helps maintain the health of the brain and its cognitive functions, postponing the symptoms of mental health problems like dementia. Researchers, including Bialystok, tested this by looking at records of bi- and monolingual patients diagnosed with dementia. Bilinguals were diagnosed about 3-4 years later, on average at age 78.6 years, compared to monolinguals averagely at 75.4 years old, confirming that active bilingualism does contribute to cognitive reserve and has a very profound effect on the brain overall.
I was fascinated by Dr. Bialystok's work after I first realised she was a Professor at YorkU, and I was even going to visit one of her talks in March at Ryerson, but sadly I couldn't make it there. I thought this article was the perfect candidate for my podcast as it is thoroughly explains bilingualism, and despite being so scholarly, it was easy to understand and follow. I really wanted to include information on how bilingualism postpones dementia and Alzheimer's after reading about it in the opinion piece, as I thought it was very interesting, and this article provided me with the perfect pieces of information to use.
8. Vihman, Marilyn May. “A Developmental Perspective on Code-Switching Conversations between a Pair of Bilingual Siblings.” TESOL Quarterly, vol. 19, no. 2, 1985, pp. 371–373. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3586837.
This short scholarly peer-reviewed article examines my personal favourite aspect of bilingualism - code-switching - in the context of an Estonian-speaking household in the United States, specifically the interactions between two equal highly proficient bilingual siblings V and R, who are also the children of the author of the paper.
The paper is the direct result of the fact that there is not much research on bilingual children engaged in natural verbal communication with their family. Although the eldest sibling, V, was often aware of being recorded, and attempted to speak Estonian more, because she thought that was expected of her, she and her sibling R still displayed natural patterns of bilinguals speaking the same languages in a natural way, which also includes code-switching, or code-mixing. Code-switching is the use of two or more languages in a sentence by bilingual (multilingual) speakers. Interestingly, the siblings most often switched nouns, and more importantly, in a manner similar to adults, suggesting that they differentiate the two languages they speak. After monitoring and irregularly recording the subjects for 4 years, the author made an interesting discovery that 61% of switches between the siblings were simple words that both of them knew well in both Estonian and English. This prompted the author to conclude that the reason the siblings code-switched was never because they were avoiding grammatically complex structures or anything of similar nature, it was merely natural behaviour stemming from the fact that the siblings identify equally as speakers of their native Estonian and English, spoken in the community around them, which is the core principle of understanding why bilinguals code-switch in the first place.
The reason I decided to include this paper in my blog post as part of my research findings is because it explains code-switching, one of the more mysterious aspects of bilingualism, in the most simple way that I can imagine, using the example of two siblings in the habitual environment of their home. I have a feeling that some people who don't code-switch themselves might find the activity questionable and pretentious, a faulty trait to a bilingual. I understand those who don't code-switch, and those who do, too, might not understand the nature of code-switching and whether it is a good or a bad thing. I believe this paper does a great job at proving that code-switching is an innocent side-effect of bilingualism that makes things more fun, and is mostly displayed in an appropriate environment and situations, and not as a way to show off or confuse someone .
9. Diller, Karl C. “‘Compound’ and ‘Coordinate’ Bilingualism: A Conceptual Artifact.” WORD, vol. 26, no. 2, 16 June 2015, pp. 254–261., doi:10.1080/00437956.1970.11435596.
The TED-Ed video, cited as number 6 on this bibliography, has mentioned the notions of compound and coordinate bilinguals. This scholarly article does so, too, but offers an interesting perspective suggested by the title: the notions are artificial and rather do not actually exist in the sense that they were thought to be. These terms were originally proposed to classify the different kinds of bilinguals, but the system has many flaws, as Diller points out. He argues that these terms are: a) loosely defined; b) not proved by experimental evidence; c) contradict each other.
Essentially compound bilinguals experience the world with a single set of concepts and simultaneously learn two languages, while coordinate bilinguals tend to learn their languages in different settings and with two sets of concepts. The problem of the loose definition can be seen in the way many linguists disagree with each other on different cases. For example, one linguist might argue that a person learning a second language outside of home after the age of 10 is always a coordinate bilingual, but in the case of a man who was raised speaking fluent Swedish and Finnish, another linguist believes the man to be a "true" bilingual, and that "true" bilinguals are coordinate. That same linguist may even argue that compound bilinguals aren't bilinguals at all. However, Diller does not completely disregard the idea that there are different types of bilinguals. He suggests that "experiental context" means more than the manner in which the language was learned. Research shows that people with similar linguistic histories respond in one way, while others with different histories respond in another.
The question that arises is whether these terms are useful at all. The way I see it, every person experiences life differently, and our vocabularies should differ correspondingly. I think this article is a great example of the idea that every bilingual person is different, based on their linguistic history, ethnic background, number of languages spoken, etc, and generalising such a diverse group of people is not a very good idea. This supports the conclusion that I am coming to in the process of research, that bilingualism is a very personal experience and can not be universally defined. It also shows that as more studies and research on bilingualism emerge, it becomes clearer that things that were previously thought to be definite are rather indefinite, and that there is still much room for development and discoveries.
10. Cheatham, Gregory A., and Yeonsun Ellie Ro. “Young English Learners' Interlanguage as a Context for Language and Early Literacy Development.” YC Young Children, vol. 65, no. 4, 2010, pp. 18–23. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/42731074.
As the title suggests, this short academic article provides brief and concise information on the process of early literacy development in young English learners. Written by two professors from the field of early education, it explains how children go through the crucial transitory process of second language acquisition, during which they gradually lose their home language while acquiring English, which often misleads their teachers to think that they have learning disabilities. It also suggests ways in which educators and families could cooperate to help children.
It explains the three main aspects that are important to second language acquisition: the stages of second language development, language attrition/language loss, and code-switching. It profoundly explains "interlanguage" - the transitory grammar that children develop when they're exposed to two languages. They learn by observing the languages and developing ideas about how they work. Because this process takes time, some educators and even parents may think that the child is suffering speech delays or other language-related cognitive problems. In fact, the authors suggest that they should be more patient and supportive, and cooperate in ways that would help children learn to embrace their bilingual identity and reach their full intellectual potential.
The reason I was so excited about stumbling upon this article is because it has to do with one of the biggest stigmas of bilingualism that used to be, and still is for some, the reason why many parents avoid raising their children to be bilingual. This paper and research conducted prior to writing it prove that the earlier common notion that bilingualism hinders a child's intellectual development is wrong. It does take bilingual children more time to actually start speaking their two languages, but this article explains that it is perfectly normal, and parents just should be a little more patient. This is important for immigrants and ethnic minority children, because successful second language acquisition could either build a bridge to their bilingual identity, or alienate them and make them feel like they don't belong.
11. University College London. “Adults Can Be Retrained To Learn Second Languages More Easily, Says UCL Scientist.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 15 June 2005, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050615060545.htm.
This article posted by a popular online journal dedicated to science is a brief summary of the research conducted by the scientists from University College London on the second language learning among adults. The researchers were concerned with making language learning easier for adults. Previously scientists believed that as the brain ages, it loses its plasticity, and so activities such as language learning become increasingly hard for adults.
Studies carried out by UCL's Department of Phonetics and Linguistics proves this belief wrong - the difficulties associated with language learning among adults are not biological, and turns out, it is possible for the brain to be retrained. 63 mature native speakers of Japanese attended 10 training sessions in Japan and London, where they were taught to hear the differences between R's and L's. This is something that Japanese people find particularly hard about learning English, because these two sounds are the same phoneme in Japanese, and when English words are transcribed into Japanese, the sounds get mixed up, interfering with Japanese people's studying of English. The result was that the subjects improved their ability to distinguish the two sounds by 18% on average after only 10 sessions. This led the researchers to come to the conclusion that learning languages later in life is harder because people have been training their whole lives to perceive their first language, and it is hard to shift away from that experience. Hard, but not impossible.
The conclusion that can be made is that although there are significant advantages to an early start, mastering a second language at an older age is possible through intensive training. This would be an encouraging message for people struggling with their language studies, and it debunks the common idea that adults who wish to learn a foreign language are doomed. I think it's important to mention this in my podcast, as many people who only speak one language fluently, but would like to learn more, are often discouraged with these harsh words that aren't even completely true. Thus they might give up and resort to admiring, and maybe even envying those who have picked up a bunch of languages while growing up, having the advantage of an early start. I believe it's wrong that most of society still clings to the idea that learning languages is an activity suitable for children and young students only, and this article is a great example that it isn't. It also proves once again that many things about bilingualism and language learning that were thought to be common knowledge turn out to be wrong, or only partially right, as more and more research is being conducted.
12. Lepage, Jean-François. “Census in Brief: Linguistic Diversity and Multilingualism in Canadian Homes .” Statistics Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics Canada, 2 Aug. 2017, www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/as-sa/98-200-x/2016010/98-200-x2016010-eng.cfm.
This statistical report on linguistic diversity and multilingualism in Canada contains information from the 2016 census provided by Statistics Canada. The census shows statistics on 215 languages spoken in Canada and demonstrates that there has been a growth in the linguistic diversity of the country.
The census provides numbers on two main groups of languages: official (English and French) and other (Aboriginal and Immigrant languages). The diversity growth refers to the fact that more people have reported a mother tongue or a language spoken at home that is neither English nor French, while the total number of languages has not grown much. The biggest growth happened with the Immigrant languages: the number of people reporting a foreign mother tongue in 2016 has increased by 910,400 people, or 13.3% from 2011.
The part of this census that I chose to focus on revolves around the metropolitan area of Toronto. I used the number of people who reported an immigrant mother tongue in the GTA and the overall population of the GTA (from the same census) as part of the hook in my episode’s intro. I think this might be something that not many know, and I believe it is an impressive number of people who contribute to the multicultural diversity of Toronto that makes it truly one of a kind.
13. Burnaby, Barbara. “Language Policy and Education in Canada.” Encyclopedia of Language and Education, edited by Nancy H. Hornberger, second ed., vol. 1, New York: Springer, 2008, pp. 331–341. Scholars Portal Books, https://www.library.yorku.ca/find/Record/2286039.
This peer-reviewed academic paper is a secondary source from the same encyclopedia as the first entry on this blogpost, and similarly it is concerned with the language policy and education in Canada, although in a broader sense. It talks about policies on all major groups of languages spoken in Canada: official languages, Aboriginal languages, and official and minority languages for immigrants.
A big portion of the article is dedicated to the history of the official languages in Canada and the struggles associated with it, as well as to how Canada came to being bilingual. The rest talks about the language policies for immigrants, both on official languages and their mother tongues, and aboriginal languages, which are treated separately from the first two groups, having been excluded by the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, and choosing not to be defined as a cultural minority. The main idea of the whole article is that although since Francophones have challenged the dominance of Anglophones in Canada in the 20th century and there has been progress in acknowledging the language problems (the Official languages act, Royal commission on bilingualism and biculturalism, etc), there is still much room for improvement to be made for both the official and non-official languages.
The part of the paper that I focused on was the history of the official bilingualism establishing in Canada, as well as the Quiet revolution and the establishment of the Royal commission, as these events are crucial to the evolution of bilingualism, and my first vignette consequently. I believe these historical events could be of interest to the potential Canadian audience, as well as important to understanding how bilingualism came to be the way it is today. I think it's kind of nice that Canada played a positive role in it.
Although it may seem that this paper and the first entry on this blogpost are very similar, I used and cited both in my script, as they offer each their own perspectives and corresponding content on different aspects of the matter of language. Besides, initially the first entry was for my first topic of official bilingualism in Canada, and even though I shifted away from, I still decided to use the source a little bit to not let it go to complete waste.
14. Hakuta, Kenji. “Bilingualism and Intelligence.” Mirror Of Language: The Debate on Bilingualism, by Kenji Hakuta, New York: Basic Books, 1986, pp. 14–44.
This book on bilingualism was written by a professor of education and linguistics at Stanford University. It initiates a broad discussion on bilingualism, explaining and debunking the myths surrounding it.
I stumbled upon this book by accident while searching for a good source on the backstory of bilingualism and how the social notion of it evolved over the 20th century. I found all that in the second chapter of the book titled "Bilingualism and Intelligence", which is why I cited the chapter precisely instead of the whole book, in case someone would like to check it out for themselves.
As the title suggests, the chapter discusses the literature on 'good' and 'bad' bilingualism in consideration of 'intelligence'. As it turns out, researchers in the beginning of the 20th century tried to invent tools for measuring intelligence, and judged whether bilingualism was good or bad by the performance of bilinguals. Briefly, after Alfred Binet invented the IQ test, a man named H.H. Goddard, who wasn't even a scientist of any kind, translated it into English and used it on Jewish immigrants arriving to the USA through an interpreter. Declaring 25 out of 30 adult Jews 'feeble-minded', he blamed the lack of an extensive vocabulary on the lack of intelligence. Following in his footsteps, a boom of IQ tests and studies emerged that ultimately proclaimed bilingualism to be bad.
I decided that the origins of the negative stigma of bilingualism are very important to explaining how it came to the day the opinion piece that I've chosen was written, because both perspectives are like heaven and earth, and knowing what came first helps understand the rest better. I really enjoyed reading the book, as it is informative but accessible, and I learned a lot of interesting things. I am glad I stumbled upon it, and it readily provided me with everything I was looking for about the history of bilingualism.