Who becomes bilingual?
Bilingualism also involves sociolinguistic competence, the ability to use and understand social nuances. Success in learning a second language is facilitated by intelligence, specific aptitude for languages, motivation to be involved in that language community, and self-confidence.
6. Factors involved in successful second-language learning include intelligence, specific language learning ability, motivation and self-confidence. Motivation to master a second language is influenced by the relative status and ethnolinguistic vitality of the second language, compared with the learner's own language.
7. Becoming bilingual involves more than learning another language; we must also acquire relevant sociolinguistic skills.
8. Bilingualism is likely to be encouraged when it provides a socially useful skill without threatening the existence of the speaker's own language, but discouraged when it contributes to assimilation into the majority linguistic group.
Sociolinguistic competence / communicative competence
Skill at using language in a social context (requires mastering a new set of social norms as well)
- "merci" = no thank you. "thank you" = yes thank you
- "would you mind running to the store for me?"
Social psychological consequences of bilingualism
- learner becomes aware of stereotypes held by members of a new linguistic group about his own group ->these new insights may undermine the learner's sense of identity
- Psychological inconsistency: may become marginalized - no longer a typical member of his own group but never fully one of the new group.
- engendering more positive attitudes towards the target language group
Factors that facilitate language learning
Specific aptitude for learning language
Additive and subtractive bilingualism
Anxiety and self-confidence