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Early Bilingualism and Multilingualism

Parents’ and Caregivers’ Attitudes and Observations

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Zofia Chłopek

The author investigates the development of children raised bilingually or multilingually. Parents and caregivers completed a questionnaire, providing information on 36 children growing up with two or more languages. Their responses indicate that bilingual and multilingual children usually develop as well as their monolingual peers, and sometimes even better. Some drawbacks of early bilingualism or multilingualism, such as a slight delay in the onset of speech production or asymmetrical language competences, are compensated for by several benefits of early acquisition of two or more mother tongues and early contacts with two or more cultures.

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Appendix: The questionnaire used in the study – English version

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Appendix

The questionnaire used in the study – English version

Date: ……… ……… 2014

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

I am a lecturer at the German Philology Institute at the University of Wroclaw. For some time now I have conducted research into language acquisition and multilingualism, mainly from the psycholinguistic point of view.

The present questionnaire is addressed to Parents/Caregivers who raise their children in natural contact with two or more languages from birth or from very early childhood (from early childhood, i.e. before the age of 5, the child regularly heard and used two or more languages mainly in a natural way, in real communicative situations of everyday life – talking to other people, listening to bedtime stories, watching films, listening to songs etc.).

Your responses will create a basis for my monograph on early multilingualism, which is meant to constitute a reliable source of information on the topic, useful not only for other researchers, but also for parents/caregivers unsure whether they should raise their children with more than one language. The working title of the book is: ‘Early bilingualism and multilingualism. Psycholinguistic research and the reality. What parents and caregivers have to say’.

If you would like me to include your names in the Acknowledgments at the beginning of the book, please write them below:

……………………………………………………………………………………………

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