This chapter explored the definition of bilingualism in its various forms. It also considered the advantages and disadvantages of bilingualism and various models for translating between L1 and L2. We also looked at computational models for bilingual reading and auditory comprehension. Finally, we explored some of the evidence-based methods for second language learning.

Key Takeaways

  • Bilingualism is the ability to be fluent in two languages.
  • Second language acquisition becomes harder after the critical period of language acquisition has passed.
  • Whether we translate between words within our mental lexicon is still a matter of debate.

Exercises in Critical Thinking

  1. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of using more than one language.
  2. If you are bilingual, think of instances where you found it easier to come up with a term in one language and not the other. Was it your L1 or L2?
  3. How would you go about teaching a new language to a two-year-old versus a 20-year-old?


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Psychology of Language Copyright © 2021 by Dinesh Ramoo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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