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Language in Research and Teaching

Proceedings from the CALS Conference 2016

Edited By Marija Brala Vukanović and Anita Memišević

This book aims at bridging language research and language teaching and contains four sections. It opens with two papers which relate language to literature: one exploring childlike language, the second investigating the distinction between literary and non-literary text categorization principles. Next are the papers on multicultural and sociolinguistic topics, including a paper on English as an international language, and two papers on the perception of bilingualism in education. The third thematic section explores semantics, with two papers on prefixes and one on metaphor. The final thematic section is dedicated to syntax, with one paper on complex predicates, one on syntactic complexity in spontaneous spoken language and one of Croatian null and overt subject pronouns.

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What do we talk about when we talk about bilingualism? Exploring Croatian pre-service teachers’ beliefs (Siniša Smiljanić / Ana Bratulić)

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Siniša Smiljanić

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka ssmiljanic@ffri.hr, sinisa.smiljanic2@gmail.com

Ana Bratulić

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka abratulic@ffri.hr

What do we talk about when we talk about bilingualism? Exploring Croatian pre-service teachers’ beliefs1

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explore Croatian pre-service teachers’ beliefs about bilingualism, namely how they define bilingualism, what advantages of bilingualism they perceive and whether they subscribe to some of the most common misconceptions about bilingualism. With this purpose a specifically designed questionnaire was administered to 73 undergraduate and graduate students from the Faculty of Teacher Education in Rijeka and 85 teaching track graduate students from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka. The results demonstrated that the participants’ definitions of bilingualism are multifaceted, encompassing various dimensions such as age of acquisition, relative language competence and proficiency, with emphasis on productive over receptive skills. Furthermore, the participants mostly refer to sociolinguistic advantages of bilingualism, such as obtaining employment and accessing people and information, with minor reference to linguistic and cognitive advantages. Finally, the results have shown that the participants in this study do not subscribe to some of the most common misconceptions surrounding bilingualism, not believing it to be potentially harmful in any significant way. The results are discussed in the context of previous research findings and Croatian language education policies and practices.

Keywords: bilingualism, language education policy,...

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