By Colin Baker
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Additional info for A Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism (Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, No 5)
While it may help to a limited extent in extending the language versatility of the child, television is essentially a passive medium. A child does not practice or use their language with a television setonly in rare situations. The child is the recipient of language rather than the producer of language. A child's listening vocabulary may be extended. Television does not usually produce opportunities to extend speaking performance. At the same time, television has some input in a child's literacy, however small.
Leisure time has grown in this century. In such situations, the role of the father in language development has become more important. Some fathers stay at home to raise the children while the mother goes out to work. < previous page page_16 next page > < previous page page_17 next page > Page 17 In many societies, mothers are often responsible for housekeeping and child-rearing. g. feeding, bathing, dressing, discipline). Fathers often have opportunities to play with their children, allowing considerable language stimulation.
Careful decisions about family language planning need making. How can the language menu of the family be arranged to create the conditions for the long-term growth of bilingualism? This does not mean equal amounts of stimulation in each language. It is almost impossible to achieve a perfect balance in exposure to both languages. The minority language may need stimulating more in the home to counteract the dominance of the majority language outside the home. Where bilingualism is more difficult to achieve in particular family situations, a well thought out plan of action is needed.
A Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism (Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, No 5) by Colin Baker