The realities of today’s living are being marked by an increasing role of information, as the foremost factor that defines the very essence of post-industrial social interactions. After all, due to exponential progress in the field of informational technologies, which had taken place during the course of latest decades, it now became a commonplace practice to transfer huge amounts of information from one corner of the globe to another, within a matter of an instant.
As it was pointed out by Clark (2010, p. 1): “We live in an ever-changing, evolving, constantly shifting world, where socially construed boundaries are becoming more obscured while simultaneously making visible the spaces, dimensions, and strategies of being and becoming multiple people in multiple places”.
In its turn, this results in producing the phenomenon of ‘overlapping identities’ – unlike what it used to be the case even as recent as fifty years ago; nowadays, more and more people begin to assess the subtleties of their individuality from essentially cosmopolitical perspective. Therefore, it comes as not a particular surprise that, as time goes on, the issue of bilingualism continues to grow increasingly embedded into the very core of a number of today’s socio-political discourses.
The reason for this is simple – in highly globalized world, one’s ability to speak more than one language automatically increases the extent of his or her existential competitiveness. What it means is that, there are many fully objective reasons to expect that, in very near future, the number of bilingual individuals will increase dramatically.
And, it represents the matter of crucial importance for educators to be able to adopt a proper perspective onto the very essence of bilingualism/multilingualism, as it will increase their ability to design teaching strategies in a manner fully consistent with earlier mentioned process of Earth becoming ‘borderless’, in allegorical sense of this word.
In this paper, I will aim to discuss theoretical aspects of bilingualism and to show how the practical implementation of bilingualism-inducing strategies in academic environment may result in substantial enhancement of teaching process’s effectiveness.
While elaborating on paper’s subject matter, I will also aim to promote an idea that the very tendency for more and more people to grow increasingly bilingual, which defines the social implications of Globalization, has been dialectically predetermined. What it means is that nowadays, becoming bilingual had effectively ceased to be an option for individuals who seek to attain social prominence.
Rationale-driven considerations for second language acquisition
Given the fact that the qualitative subtleties of just about any socio-historical phenomena are being defined by the dialectical essence of associated causes and effects, it will only be logical to suggest that there are fully objective motivations behind the process of people becoming increasingly bilingual/multilingual.
In her book, Baker (2001) provides us with the insight on what accounts for these motivations. According to the author, the rationale for second language acquisition can be generalized as consisting of three mutually supplementing sub-elements: ideological, international and individual.
Ideological rationale is being largely related to the fact that, ever since seventies, the policy of multiculturalism in Western countries had attained governmentally endorsed status. In its turn, this resulted in transforming the demographic pattern of West-bound immigrants.
Whereas; before the institutionalization of multiculturalism, it were predominantly White people immigrating to such English-speaking countries as U.S., Canada and Australia; nowadays, the bulk of newly arrived immigrants to these countries consist of those, commonly referred to as ‘representatives of racial minorities’.
And, due to characteristics of these people’s visual appearance, their assimilationist anxieties emerge being much stronger, as compared to what it used to be the case with assimilationist anxieties, on the part European immigrants, for example.
This is the reason why an acquisition of host-country’s official language (e.g. English) represents the matter of crucial importance for these people – by becoming proficient in such a language, ethnic immigrants prove their ability to assimilate into host-society, and consequentially to become such society’s productive members.
There is another aspect to this – even though that it now became a commonplace practice to associate the concept of European colonialism with the notion of ‘oppression’, the native people from former European colonies continue to subconsciously associate this concept with the notion of ‘progress’. According to De Mejia (2002, p. 4): “An interest in the use of international languages is often associated with positions of social prestige in societies which have a colonial history…
In these countries the use of world languages (especially English) is considered by many of the governing elite as vital to the modernization of the economy and to the development of science and technology”. Apparently, as time goes on, more and more people consider one’s proficiency in a second language being utterly prestigious – pure and simple.
The international rationale behind acquisition of a second language is being concerned with the fact that, as compared to what it is usually the case with monolingual individuals; the bilingual ones are being put in advantageous position, especially when it comes to indulging in commercial activities. One does not have to be particularly smart, in order to be able to realize why – a particular individual’s proficiency in second language implies the increased extent of his or her exposure to information.
And, as it was rightly noted by Baker (2001, p. 112): “Languages provide access to information and hence power… For the business person and the bureaucrat, for the scholar and the sports person, access to multilingual international information opens doors to new knowledge, new skills and new understanding”.
Given the fact that, as it was being mentioned earlier, the realities of today’s post-industrial living are closely associated with essentially instant transfers of information on world-wide scale, those who can understand and speak more than one language are being more likely to take advantage of a number of rapidly emerging professional and commercial opportunities.
The individual motivation behind people’s decision to seek fluency in foreign languages has to do with the fact that such fluency results in increasing the extent of a concerned person’s cultural awareness. After all, it is only the people that have succeeded in familiarizing themselves with foreign cultures, which can be considered educated, in full sense of this word. And, within the context of such a familiarization, one’s proficiency in at least one foreign language will come as a great asset.
Yet, what it is being even more important is that individual’s acquisition of a second language usually results in enhancing the workings of his or her intellect. According to Ramirez (1985, p. 195): “Bilingualism could be an advantage in abstract thinking (conceptualizing things and events in relation to their general properties rather than relying on their linguistic symbols) and in encouraging mental flexibility”.
As compared to their monolingual counterparts, bilingual individuals appear being much more intellectually flexible, as the fact that they can express their thoughts in foreign language naturally predisposes them towards recognizing the validity of a number of moral, ethical and religious notions as being only relative to the affiliated circumstances.
The context of an earlier provided conceptualization as to what accounts for rationale in acquisition of a second language, implies that it is very important for teachers to be able to choose in favor of a proper set of bilingualism-inducing incentives, meant to apply in every individual case. After all, without being sufficiently motivated to indulge in studying of a second language, it is very unlikely that students will be able to succeed in it.
As it was rightly suggested by Dornyei (1998, p. 117): “Motivation provides the primary impetus to initiate learning in the L2 and later the driving force to sustain the long and often tedious learning process… Without sufficient motivation, even individuals with the most remarkable abilities cannot accomplish long-term goals”.
And, given the fact that bilingualism-inducing motivations can be generally categorized as ‘integrative’ (concerned with addressing learner’s assimilationist anxieties) and ‘instrumental’ (concerned with convincing learner that becoming bilingual will increase the extent of his or her existential competitiveness), teachers must be capable of properly identifying what will account for circumstantial appropriateness of exposing learners to either set of motivations.
For example, it would prove very unlikely for practically minded students to think of attaining ‘cultural awareness’ as strong enough motivation to proceed with their studies. Alternatively, it will also be very unlikely for assimilation-seeking learners to be motivated to indulge in studying of a second language, because their eventual bilingualism would increase their efficiency as stock-traders, for example.
Theories of bilingualism
One of the foremost aspects of bilingualism-related discourses is the fact that there is still much uncertainty as to structuralist subtleties of how bilingual individuals perceive surrounding reality, in linguistic sense of this word, which stems out of conceptual incompatibility between the applied analytical methodologies.
As it was pointed out by Hamers and Blanc (1991, p. 1): “One of the major problems of an interdisciplinary approach (to bilingualism) is the integration of the macro- and the micro-levels of analysis”. Nevertheless, as of today, bilingualism’s neurological mechanics are being usually assessed within the context of Balance, Iceberg and Threshold theories.
The proponents of Balance theory, such as Macnamara (1966), and Albert and Obler (1978), suggest that, due to the main principle of brain’s neurological functioning (people can only concentrate on doing one thing at the time), bilinguals’ increased proficiency in second language necessarily accounts for their reduced proficiency in native language.
In their book, Appel and Muysken (2005, p. 104) have outlined the conceptual premise behind Balance theory with perfect clarity: “If an individual learns more than one language, knowing one language rest nets the possibilities for learning other languages. More proficiency in one language implies fewer skills in the other ones”.
The empirical observations of immigrants’ linguistic behavior seems to support the validity of Balance theory’s provisions – after all, it does not represent much of a secret that, after having spent a considerable time living amidst foreign linguistic environment, people tend to ‘enrich’ their native languages with newly learned foreign words, as being the most semantically suitable.
This particular theory’s drawback appears to be the fact that, up to date, no evidence has been found as to brain’s limited capacity to memorize linguistic idioms.
The proponents of Iceberg theory (analogy), such as Cummins (1980), point out to the fact that the manner in how bilingual people go about expressing their thoughts in both languages reflects the inner working of their psyche. What it means is if, let’s say a particular person has been known to experience difficulties, while operating with highly abstract categories in his or her native language, this will also be the case with such individual trying to do the same, while utilizing second language.
In other words, according to the proponents of this theory, the acquisition of second language cannot produce detrimental effects onto a particular individual, for as long as the rate of his or her IQ appears adequately high.
The advocates of Threshold theory, such as Skutnabb-Kangas and Toukomaa (1976) and Clarkson (1992), are not sharing such point of view on the essence of bilingualism. According to them, the process of a particular person attaining proficiency in second language is being rather linearly defined.
Whereas; it is very unlikely for children-bilingualists to be utterly comfortable with expressing intellectually refined thoughts in both languages (due to their age-related underdevelopment), as time goes on, these individuals will continue to grow ever-more proficient in one language, at first, and eventually – in both languages.
This explains why, regardless of what was their age when they started to learn foreign language, most highly educated people have absolutely legitimate reasons to think of themselves as such that are being fully proficient in at least two languages. However, just as it is being the case with Balance theory, Threshold theory features a number of shortcomings. For example, its proponents do not specify as to what should be considered a criteria, when it comes to measuring individual’s bilinguistic proficiency.
Also, this theory does not take into consideration the specifics of bilingual people’s ethno-cultural affiliation. And yet, as it will be shown in this paper’s following sub-chapter, the particulars of bilingualists’ physiological/genetic makeup directly affect the degree of their linguistic expressions’ comprehensiveness.
Ability vs. aptitude
As we are being well aware of, people’s ability to learn foreign languages differs rather dramatically. Whereas; some individuals do not seem to experience any problems whatsoever, while acquiring second language, for others, learning a few basic foreign phrases appears to be the limit. How can it be explained?
As of today, there are two qualitatively different approaches to tackle the subject matter, concerned with the concept of ‘ability’, on one hand, and with the concept of ‘aptitude’, on another.
For example, according to Oller and Perkins (1978, p. 417), students’ likelihood to succeed in acquiring second language is being correlative with the rate of their Intellectual Quotidian(IQ): “It appears that some of the variance in verbal intelligence is common to variance in first and second language proficiency, some of which in turn may be common to the kinds of non-random sources of variance in self-reported data”.
In its turn, this explains why individuals who score high, while IQ-tested, often exhibit a particular talent in becoming proficient foreign-language speakers.
Nevertheless, given the fact that the very concept of IQ-testing is now being widely criticized, on the account of its ‘euro-centrism’, it comes as not a particular surprise that recent decades saw the emergence of qualitatively new approach towards addressing the issue linguistic proficiency, commonly referred to as ‘aptitudal’ or ‘emotionally-intelligent’.
The proponents of this approach, such as Skehan (1998), argue that it is namely the fact that bilingualism-enhancing tasks, to which students are being commonly subjected in Western academia, can be best referred to as ‘emotionally exhausting’, which in turn explains some students’ lack of progress in becoming proficient bilingualists.
To put it plainly – many ethnic students’ linguistic failure should not be thought of as ‘thing in itself’, but rather as the consequence of educators’ failure to adhere to the principles of multicultural tolerance, while dealing with ‘ethnically unique’ learners.
The objective analysis, however, leaves few doubts as to the full appropriateness of a suggestion that the rate of one’s IQ does in fact reflect his or her capacity for learning foreign (particularly Western) languages. After all, individual’s ability to score high, while IQ-tested, extrapolates his or her ability to operate with utterly abstract mental categories. And, it does not represent much of a secret to linguists that English language alone features close to hundred thousand of highly abstract idioms.
Therefore, in order for just about anyone to succeed in learning English, as a second language, he or she would need to have an understanding of how abstract terms relate to emanations of surrounding reality. Unfortunately, this does not always seem to be the case among people endowed with primitive/rural mentality, who immigrate to Western countries from the Third World.
In his book, Bruhl (1928, p. 120) was able to define the qualitative essence of primitive perception of surrounding reality with utter precision: “Identity appears in their (natives’) collective representations… as a moving assemblage or totality of mystic actions and reactions, within which individual does not subjectualize but objectualize itself”.
Whereas, non-Westerners are being more capable of perceiving existential challenges through the lenses of utilitarian practicality, as compared what it is the case with native-born Westerners, their ability to define dialectical relationship between causes and effects appears significantly undermined – and yet, this is the foremost precondition that ensures success in learning Western languages.
As it was shown in Bruhl’s book, after having been asked to exclude semantically unrelated word out of wordily sequence axe – hammer – saw – log, indigenous people in Brazil, South-East Asia, Africa and Australia were experiencing a particularly hard time – in their eyes, the earlier mentioned sequence made a perfectly good sense as it was (due to what they perceived as these notions’ ‘usefulness’).
The fact that words axe, hammer and saw could be categorized as ‘instruments’, on one hand, and that the word log could be categorized as ‘material’, on another, never even occurred to these people.
Therefore, the fact that the foremost psychological characteristic of non-Whites has traditionally been their strive to ‘blend’ with the environment, rather than opposing it, as it is being the case with most Whites, created objective prerequisites for them to experience particularly hard time, when it comes to gaining proficiency in Western languages that feature a fair amount of abstractizations.
There is even more to the issue. As it was shown by Vanhanen and Lynn (2002, p. 194), the rate of one’s IQ is being predetermined by genetic rather than by environmental factors: “There is a positive correlation between brain size and intelligence so the race difference in brain size suggests a genetic basis for the difference in intelligence…Black infants reared by White middle class adoptive parents in the United States show no improvement in intelligence, contrary to the prediction of environmental theory”.
In its turn, this explains the phenomenon of ‘ebonics’, commonly referred to as ‘Black-English language’, which features an acute absence of even slight traces of an abstract terminology.
Therefore, it will only be logical to conclude that there exists a correlation between the particulars of one’s racial affiliation and his or her likelihood to succeed in becoming bilingual individual, in traditional context of this word. And, although the earlier articulated line of argumentation is being of rather theoretical essence, I believe that it does provide certain insights as to how proper and improper bilingualism-inducing academic techniques may be distinguished from each other.
As it was suggested in paper’s earlier parts, there are good reasons to believe that the qualitative aspects of people’s physiological and consequentially psychological constitution, do affect their chances of becoming affiliated with bilingualism, as an integral element of their existential mode. Therefore, it will only be logical to hypothesize that, when it comes to designing educational strategies, meant to facilitate students’ proficiency in foreign languages, these aspects must be taken into consideration.
The validity of this suggestion can be well illustrated in regards to the fact that it now became a legitimate practice among teachers, to classify students along the lines of what defines the inner characteristics of their cognitive apparatus, before subjecting them to a particular learning strategy.
According to Carrell and Monroe (1994), the individuals that indulge in liberal studying (e.g. learners of foreign languages), can be categorized as extroverts (sensing, feeling, interacting), on one hand, and as introverts (judging, thinking, abstracting), on another.
The insights, contained in their article, directly relate to the subject of this paper’s discussion, as the successful implementation of two qualitatively different linguistic input-related strategies, which are being commonly referred to as ‘structuralist’ and ‘meaningful’, cannot be ensured without teachers taking into account the specifics of learners’ psychological predisposition.
According to the advocates of structuralist approach to language-teaching, such as Skinner (1957), the process of students attaining proficiency in foreign language is being mainly concerned with memorization. This is the reason why the practitioners of this approach have traditionally been known for their tendency to place a particular emphasis onto drill and repetition, as success-ensuring keys to bilingualism.
Ever since early seventies, however, an entirely new approach to teaching foreign languages was becoming increasingly popular – a so-called ‘meaningful’ one.
According to one of the most prominent advocates of such an approach Dell Hymes (1996, p. 33), in order for students to be able to succeed in memorizing foreign words, they must be seeing them as such that convey an easy-to-recognize social meaning: “The linguistic features that enter into speech styles are not only the ‘referentially-based’ features usually dealt with in linguistics today, but also the ‘stylistic’ features that are complementary to them, and inseparable from them in social communication”.
What it means is that the second language should not be taught to students outside of what they perceive as such language’s practicality.
As it was noted by Baker in earlier quoted book: “We use a language for a specific purpose. Language is a means rather than a structural end. Effective language does not mean grammatical accuracy nor articulate fluency, but the competence lo communicate meaning effectively” (p. 119). Therefore, it comes as not a surprise that both approaches to teaching foreign languages differ rather dramatically in how their practitioners go about reaching their professional objectives.
Whereas; ‘structuralist’ methodology places heavy emphasis onto utilization of audiolingual techniques, as the instrument of increasing the extent of students’ proficiency in second language, the ‘meaningful’ one relies mainly upon the contextual appropriateness of deployed teaching strategies – hence, its strong affiliation with the concept of interactive socialization.
Given the fact that, as we have pointed out earlier, just about all the students can be categorized as introverts and extroverts, it will only be natural to expect the extrovertly-minded ones to be able to benefit from being exposed to specifically ‘meaningful’ method of acquiring linguistic skills in foreign language.
The reason for this is simple – being naturally predisposed towards socialization with others, these students will be much more likely to become bilingual, once they are being provided with an opportunity to practice their newly acquired linguistic skills in the environment where the possession of these skills might prove crucial, in social sense of this word.
Alternatively, students known for their tendency to indulge in social withdrawal, will be more likely to benefit from being provided with an opportunity to study second language in the manner that would allow them to introvertedly reflect upon what they are being taught.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that they may be able to attain a full proficiency in second language, without being required to practice the acquired linguistic skills. This is the reason why, as of today, it is specifically ‘meaningful’ strategies for studying foreign languages that continue to grow increasingly popular with both: teachers and learners.
Apparently, as time goes on, more and more educators become aware of a simple fact that the actual value of just about any language cannot be assessed outside of what represents its utilitarian significance. As Grosjean (1982, p. 8) had put it: “Language does not exist in itself but has a use for the overall behavior which is meaningful in a given culture. Functions of language are universal but the linguistic forms vary across languages and cultures”.
Because, due to the process of Globalization the world becomes increasingly ‘flat’ and ‘borderless’, it does not represent much of a challenge to predict that, in very near future, the ‘meaningful’ language-teaching strategy will probably attain the only legitimate academic status – the dialectically predetermined laws of history created objective preconditions for this to happen.
The role of parental involvement
The discourse, regarding the role that parental involvement plays in the process of children becoming accustomed to the ways of bilingualism, initially revolved around the issue of what can be considered such involvement’s drawbacks.
After all, as it appears from the number of studies, conducted prior to the time when Western societies became subjected to the ideological oppression of political correctness, it is quite inappropriate to think that, given their love towards their children, parents are being simply in no position to undermine the effectiveness of the process of children attaining proficiency in second language.
For example, according to Brown and Hanlon (1970), most immigrant-parents in America tend to pay very little attention to whether their young ones utter English sentences in grammatically and stylistically proper way.
Partially, this can be explained by the fact that these parents themselves possess rather inadequate skills in the language of a host-country. However, there is also another aspect to the problem – as both authors have shown, it represents a commonplace practice among immigrant-parents to be mainly concerned with what their children say, as opposed to being concerned with how they say it.
The idea that parents (especially newly arrived immigrants) appear rather poor equipped, when it comes to providing their children with linguistic guidance, is also being explored by O’Grady (1997, p. 259): “A rarely noted point about parental feedback – direct or indirect, deliberate or incidental – is that it focuses on relatively peripheral, language-particular aspects of the child’s grammar… It is hard to even imagine a situation in which a parent would have the opportunity to provide feedback that would help a child discover the existence of syntactic categories”.
Apparently, the factor of parental love plays rather negative role within the context of children and adolescents growing bilingual, in academic rather than in street-spoken sense of this word.
Nevertheless, as it was shown by Lanza (1997, p. 256) there is a certain beneficence to how even the most indulgent parents address their children’s emerging bilingualism, because by exchanging bilingual remarks with their young ones, parents simultaneously provide them with the insight on what accounts for contextual suitability of language-switching: “The parent who initiates a code-switch with his or her child signals the appropriateness of language mixing and hence socializes the child into code-switching”.
After all, the process of children’s upbringing is not being concerned with parents exercising a strict control over how they react to life’s challenges, but with endowing children with a number of behavioral stereotypes.
The memorized behavior-related information, received from parents, is not simply being stored in child’s brain, but continues to spawn ever-newer forms of tacit knowledge, reflected in child’s apparent ability to understand so much more then he or she could have possibly known from indulging in experiential interaction with surrounding realities.
As the result, children’s ability to extrapolate earlier obtained knowledge onto an unfamiliar ‘strangeness’ allows them to choose in favor of a proper act, while being confronted by formally unknown, but subconsciously recognizable situations.
Thus, parents’ involvement into their children’s bilingual upbringing is best conceptualized as ‘double-sided-medal’: on one hand, such involvement often results in slowing down the pace of children growing bilingually proficient, but on another, it simultaneously results in increasing the extent of children’s bilingual adaptability – whatever the ironically it might sound.
Recommendations, based upon personal experiences
The experiences of becoming bilingual, on the part of some of my immigrant-friends, can be compared to the experiences of an individual, who despite being utterly unaware of how to swim, has nevertheless been thrown into the river and told to whether swim or die. By the time they had found themselves in the midst of English speaking environment, they could barely speak the language at all. Nevertheless, it has only taken them as little as few months to become fully proficient in English.
The reason for this is simple – after having arrived to U.K., they had made a conscious point in trying not to socialize with compatriots from the old country. Therefore, I consider myself being in position to come up with at least three advices as to what will facilitate the process of a particular individual attaining proficiency in second language:
The prolonged social interaction with native-born language carriers – In
order for just about anyone to be able to get a good grip of a foreign language, he or she must never cease being exposed to the contextual aspects of such language’s practical utilization.
This suggestion is being fully consistent with the conceptual essence of a ‘meaningful’ approach to linguistic learning, which emphasizes the crucial importance of establishing provisions for the learners to perceive newly obtained linguistic information as such that interrelate with the very essence of their psychological anxieties.
After all, as psychologists are being well aware of, it is only the emotionally charged experiences, which people tend to memorize the most.
The continuous memorization of words and semantic idioms – No matter
how strongly may a particular person be willing to socialize with language’s native-born carriers, this person not be able to advance too far with becoming an efficient bilingualist, unless he or she is being disciplined enough to apply a continuous effort into expanding its linguistic vocabulary.
By striving to memorize as many words as possible on daily basis, the learner will not only be able to expand its vocabulary, which in itself is the important prerequisite of bilingualism, but also to attune the workings of its cognitive apparatus.
As it was noted by De Groot and Kroll (1997, p. 106): “L2 learning is demanding; individuals with low-working memory capacity may encounter processing failures more frequently than those with high capacity, with the effect that learning is diminished (and with it, perhaps, motivation and commitment)”.
It is fully understandable, of course, that nowadays people are being encouraged to think of the very notion of discipline as necessarily euro-centric, and therefore ‘evil’. One’s endowment with the sense of discipline, however, does not make it less of an asset, especially when the studying of a second language is being concerned.
The stimulation of learner’s sense of aesthetic finesse – As my personal
experiences indicate, people’s endowment with artistic sensitivity (such as one’s love of music), often reflects upon their ability to succeed rather spectacularly in learning second language. And, there is an absolutely rational explanation to this phenomenon.
The so-called Wernicke region in brain’s left hemisphere is responsible for both: decoding the semantic meaning of verbally articulated idioms and defining the subtleties of one’s artistic taste.
Therefore, just as it is being possible for musically gifted individuals to subconsciously spot inconsistency in melody’s timbre or pitch, it is being possible for linguistically gifted individuals to subconsciously sense what will account for contextual, grammatical or stylistic appropriateness/inappropriateness of utilization of a particular word or phrase in representational matrix of a second language.
What it means is there are objective reasons to expect that people’s commitment to indulging in artistic pursuits is going to positively affect their chances of attaining bilingual proficiency.
As it was being hypnotized in the Introduction, there are a number of reasons to think that in very near future, the bilingualism will become the norm of life for just about anyone on this planet. The validity of such an idea is being confirmed by the linear subtleties of historical progress.
Apparently, the issue of bilingualism should not be discussed in terms of being simply a fashionable trend, but rather in terms of being an indication of the fact that, it is only the matter of time, before the conceptual matrix of Western educational practices will undergo a dramatic transformation. Therefore, there can be very little doubt as to the sheer beneficence of acquiring second language, regardless of who happened to be a concerned party.
At the same time, as it appears from an earlier conducted research, the bulk of bilingualism-inducing strategies, currently deployed in Western academic curriculum, are best defined as unnecessarily overcomplicated. In part, this can be explained by the very essence of today’s socio-political and educational discourses, deeply embedded in dogmas of political correctness.
This is exactly the reason why most educators and social scientists that participate in bilingualism-related discourse, deliberately try to avoid mentioning any links between the rate of people’s IQ and their ability to succeed in becoming bilingual. And yet, as it was pointed out earlier, such links do in fact exist. Denying their existence would be the same as denying the fact that Earth revolves around the Sun.
Therefore, it will only be logical to conclude this paper by suggesting that the future research, regarding the same subject matter, should mainly focus on exploring the qualitative nature of people’s predisposition towards acquiring bilingual skills, which often appears being biologically motivated.
I believe that the line of argumentation, utilized throughout the paper, and earlier articulated concluding remarks, are being fully consistent with paper’s initial thesis.
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- Harry Mensh, and Elaine Mensh, The IQ mythology: Class, race, gender, and inequality (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1991), 30.
- Donald Loritz, How the brain evolved language (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 7.