Required Reading on Multilingualism

The article linked below should be required reading. Especially for teachers, speech-language pathologists, and parents. (But really, everybody should know this.)

The article, “Recommending Monolingualism to Multilinguals – Why and Why Not” by Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, is featured on ASHA’s blog, and it explains the misconceptions people have about the effects of multilingualism on the brain in both disordered and normal speakers.

I cannot stress how important this information is. We currently have an educational system where even college professors** (some of whom teach language skills!) still believe these mythologies. It is incredibly important that this article is circulated widely. Please read it and pass the link along.

You can also check out her blog:  Being Multilingual

**Please note that I highlight college professors here because they are supposed to be on the cutting edge of ongoing research so that they can best prepare a changing workforce–and train the incoming K-12 professionals.  If we haven’t made progress with them, it’s no wonder so many others are confused.

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About LingEducator

Dr. Jaclyn Ocumpaugh received a PhD for her dissertation on regional variation in the acoustics of Mexican American English (Michigan State University, East Lansing). Before that, she received an MA in English/Linguistics from North Carolina State University for her work on the acoustics of /r/--a sound which is highly variable in the English language. Her passion, however, has always been to understand the social implications of language variation. In addition to her work in acoustic sociophonetics, she has worked with rape trial analysis, developed cognitive methods for understanding discourse level variation between men and women, and created sophisticated tools for teaching future educators about the kinds of dialect variation they will find in the classroom. She has taught classes in English, Linguistics, and Education at Old Dominion University, William & Mary, the University of Mary Washington, and Virginia Wesleyan College. She is currently a Post Doctoral Fellow of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is helping to develop models of student engagement in the classroom. She also consults in the private sector.
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