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Bilingual Competence and Bilingual Proficiency in Child Development$
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Norbert Francis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016391

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016391.001.0001

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The Problem of Language Acquisition When There Are Two

(p.1) 1 Introduction
Bilingual Competence and Bilingual Proficiency in Child Development

Norbert Francis

The MIT Press

This book explores how second language (L2) learning might differ from first language (L1) acquisition and whether L2 learning is different from monolingual L1 acquisition if it begins in early childhood, in middle childhood, or in the post-elementary school years. It also examines how two first languages that develop during early childhood (“simultaneous” bilingualism) might differ from monolingual development or from “sequential” bilingualism. L2 grammatical development in older learners is uneven whereas L1 development is uniform, and the book also considers whether this difference might apply to L2 in children. Moreover, the book discusses the general cognitive correlates of bilingualism in children, how conceptual knowledge is available to bilingual learners, how the L1 and L2 subsystems interact, language mixing in child bilingualism, and how metalinguistic abilities associated with school-related language use develops when the child knows two languages.

Keywords:   bilingualism, children, language mixing, language use, second language, first language, language acquisition, simultaneous bilingualism, sequential bilingualism, metalinguistic abilities

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