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During this lecture, I learned the definition and the importance of bilingualism. Throughout the years, the definition of bilingualism has changed slowly from ‘possesses native-like control of two or more languages’ (Bloomfield, 1933) to ‘operates in two languages on a daily basis’ (David, 1999, pg 157). As well as this, I also came to realise that there are a number of interconnected issues that affect bilingualism such as race, power, society, and culture. This interested me because I did not realise how much in the world affects bilingualism and how all of these issues are interconnected. For example, if a family are racist and have strong political views against immigrants, they are less likely to support bilingualism and their child/children are less likely to be open to learning a new language due to their parents’ views. Learning about bilingualism and understanding the importance of it will help me in my role as a teacher as it will help me to make bilingual children feel more comfortable and welcome in my classroom.In this lecture, we were put into groups and given a scenario about a bilingual child coming into the school. In the group that I was part of, our scenario was “a young Spanish girl coming into primary 2.” In our group, we discussed the importance of making this child feel welcome and ensuring that she understood what was going. To begin with, we thought that asking the child if she feels comfortable enough to share her background with class would be a good way to show her that as her teacher, I am interested in where she has come from while at the same establishing the level of English the child understands and can utilize. We also thought that having, for example, the colours up on a wall display in both English and Spanish would help the child to differentiate between both languages and get used to the English whilst still having the comfort of her first language.


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