Actuality of trilingual education of children in Kazakhstan
Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №9 (89) май-1 2015 г.
Дата публикации: 04.05.2015
Статья просмотрена: 361 раз
Хамитова З. Ж., Джантасова Д. Д., Тугамбекова М. А., Сулейменова У. Е. Actuality of trilingual education of children in Kazakhstan // Молодой ученый. 2015. №9. С. 1432-1435.
Many European countries are now bilingual or trilingual, even over half of the world's populations is thought to be either bilingual or multilingual (Grosjean 1982). As Kazakhstan has taken the law to teach ss from the first form to 3 languages at the same time. The idea of multilingualism was not welcomed by many linguists and scientists. The authors of this article aim to prove that teaching children all three languages simultaneously will be a big help and the future growth of economy of the country and solve the problem of lack of local specialists in many spheres.
Keywords: Trilingualism, children, globalized world, Kazakh and Russian.
Speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age. 
As if when in Kazakhstan a child who speaks Kazakh at home and with his friends he freely speaks Russian. That‘s now far no longer wonder for all of us. Now, due to the globalization era, we are supposed to learn English and in global arena speak English to keep in touch with many nationalities for other development, the new generation is of course willing to study it.
They were not wrong about the interference: there is ample evidence that in a bilingual’s brain both language systems are active even when he is using only one language, thus creating situations in men one system obstructs the other. But this interference, researchers are finding out, isn't so much a handicap as a blessing in disguise. It forces the brain to resolve internal conflict, giving the mind a workout that strengthens its cognitive muscles.
So, born to be bilingual and through school time getting enough knowledge to become also trilingual, brain also becomes trained to get more information and be easily able to interaction. They can easily commit to memory comparatively.
The key difference between bilinguals and monolinguals may be more basic: a heightened ability to monitor the environment. «Bilinguals have to switch languages quite often you may talk to your father in one language and to your mother in another language,” says Albert Costa, a researcher the University of Pompeu Fabra in Spain. “It requires keeping track of changes around you in the way that we monitor our surroundings when driving.” In a study comparing German-Italian bilinguals with Italian monolinguals on monitoring tasks, Mr. Costa and his colleagues found that the bilingual subject not only performed better, but they also did so with less activity in parts of the brain involved in monitoring, indicating that they were more efficient at it.
As the author of the book “Multilingualism for all” Tove Skutnabb-Kangas wrote in the introduction of his book that “Ethno linguistic majority populations should also be given the opportunity to escape monolingual stupidity/naivety, reductionism and to do so at a level which doesn’t stop at studying a foreign language for a few years as a subject in school, something many children are already doing. If one believes and there are good reasons for doing so — that high level of multilingualism are an advantage to people, opening up horizons, enabling contact, enhancing development, as hinted at above escaping the imprisonment of the narrowing of horizons implied by monolingualism, then everybody should be offered this opportunity. And “everybody” includes majorities, even if many of them are still unaware of the linguistic cages many of them live in and of the fact that they and the rest of the world pay a high price for their monolingualism” [2, p. 27]
When it comes to code-switching, it’s seen that many citizens cannot use one language only properly. Learning to speak more than one language often involves putting together material from two languages. This is a part of normal process of growing up bilingually and acquiring competence in more than one language. The early utterances of children growing up bilingually will often contain lexical items from both languages It has often been said that bilingualism is a step along the road to linguistic extinction. Certainly, it is not hard to find cases where language death is preceded by bilingualism and extensive code-switching.
Nevertheless, there is increasing evidence to indicate that this mixed mode of speaking serves important functions in the communities where it is used and that is not random. [3, p. 112]
Kazakhstan has been a bilingual country, and now turning to a multilingual country, with an additional language being English, the country can use it as a power. In the era of globalisation, and with a high interest towards the English language among teenagers and youths, English an become a turning point of business and trade, economics, science and over all development of Kazakhstan.
For example, Kohnert et al (1998) have shown that first language (L1) speakers of Spanish who were early learners of English and had received most of their education in English maintained high proficiency in both languages and scored higher on the BNT in English that in Spanish, but their score sin English were nevertheless lower than the monolingual norm, similarly, verbal-fluency results have reported to differ for monolingual and bilingual speakers (e.g. Kempler, Teng&Dick, 1998; Sandoval et al.,2010); specifically bilingual participants typically generate fewer items than start with the target sound or that belong to the target semantic category than do monolingual participants.
The same thing happened in Kazakhstan. Most students and pupils can score higher in Russian than their mother tongue Kazakh, but their language skills can be lower that the monolingual speakers of Russian, the vice versa with Kazakh, the ones, who are better at speaking and writing at Kazakh, can have tendency not to know Russian as good as Kazakh. There always has been lack of skills neither in one or another language. But in general terms, students and pupils are good in both languages. As Kazakhstan now turns into multilingual society, where not only Kazakh and Russian, but English is getting more influential, most students have shown easiness in learning the third language as well.
At least two, potentially co-existing, reasons may explain these differences in performance between monolinguals and bilinguals. First, such differences may reflect smaller vocabularies and lower proficiency among the bilinguals being tested. Second, the lower performance observed for bilinguals may be associated with process of competition between their two languages. Sandoval et al. (2010) set out to examine the effects of bilingualism on verbal fluency and to test possible accounts for these effects. The authors compared the performance of young monolingual English speakers and English- dominant, Spanish-English bilingual speakers matched for age (mean = 20) and education (mean=20) on fluency tasks using a series of letter pairs, (e.g, “fa”) and semantic categories (e.g., “types of clothing”). They found that their bilingual participants produces fewer correct responses (In English) than the monolingual participants in both the semantic and letter tasks. The bilinguals also produced more low- frequency words than the monolinguals, mainly in the semantic task, and were slower to produce the first word as will as subsequent words that the monolinguals in both tasks. When the authors compared retrieval in dominant versus the non-dominant language of the bilinguals were slower to produce the words in their non-dominant language that their dominant language. Furthermore, the difference in performance between the bilingual and monolingual participants was evident in the initial time segments of the task rather than toward the end of each trial. A difference in last time segment in each trial would have been consistent with the reduced vocabulary account of lower performance. The authors therefore interpreted their results as evidence for retrieval interference between the two languages. The findings suggest that not only proficiency in each language, but also competition between the two languages affect bilinguals’ scores.
“Trilingualism is generally treated in the relevant literature as another type of bilingualism, and theories and findings from studies of bilinguals are often assumed to be applicable to trilinguals by extension,” Suzanne Barron-Hauwaert, a researcher on languages wrote in 200G. A study Ms. Barron-Hauwaert conducted on trilingual children, mostly In Europe, found that three languages can't be balanced as easily as two, and that a child’s age plays a big part on what language it would speak. She found “very young children using the mother’s language as their first language while 3- to 4-year olds use the father’s language; the older children prefer the local language.”
The same thing can happen in Kazakhstan. Children can become trilingual but not fluent and accurate enough to speak any of them.
Trilingual children also do code switching when they are young, for the same reasons as bilingual children. Their trilingual code switching is rarer than their bilingual code switching (their use of three languages in the same sentence is rarer than their use of two languages in the same sentence) [4, p. 144]
But in many cases bilingualism is explained as an extention of bilingualism (Hoffmann, 2001).
Everywhere people have settled views on children's bi — or trilingual. These views have an impact on people's communication with their children and how they treat other people’s children. The impact of these views and to what advice about bilingual education of children give parents teachers, doctors and speech therapists. Unfortunately, many children's views on bilingual education are not kids any good, and sometimes even harmful.
It seems that a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of early bilingualism is based on the idea that parents choose a bilingual environment for their children. However, it is generally true. Young children grow up bilingual, mainly due to the fact that they in no way can grow monolinguals. For example, the child communicates regularly with monolingual people who speak different languages. Other children are growing up in a society where the majority of people daily are bilingual. Rules for the use of these languages define when talking to each of them. In such circumstances, to impose changes to ensure that all of the social world of the bilingual children would be limited to the same language, on the one hand cannot, on the other hand, hardly ethical, as it would infringe the linguistic rights of the child.
The fact that a child with early childhood hearing two or more languages, is not a cause of speech disorders or delayed speech
First, is often claimed that listening to two or more languages, the child gets confused and he will have serious problems with language development Secondly, it is argued that the assimilation of the primary language environment will be more successful in the absence of competition from other language. However, to date there is no scientific evidence that hearing two or more languages leads to slower learning a language or speech disorders. Too many children from different countries learn from the cradle to two or more languages, without showing any signs of this speech disorder, or delayed development these kids are living proof of the absence of a causal link between the environment and the problems of bilingual language acquisition. Moreover, there is no scientific evidence that giving up one language automatically improves the absorption of the other. In fact, the sharp rejection of the use of «home” language parents can cause great emotional and psychological difficulties, both for parents and for children. After all, language is strongly tied to emotional and identity areas. Three-year-old girl, whose mother suddenly stops talking to her in a familiar language, and even worse — stop responding to her questions in that language, can feel emotionally abandoned and completely lost. Those speech therapists, who recommend monolingualism, should not be surprised if the child's behavior becomes problematic. If a child and rebounding from a similar injury, it is still no evidence that his success in mastering basic language environment increases the loss of «home» language. In fact, in educational institutions has been convincingly shown that the development and strengthening of skills of the child in the first language promotes the assimilation of their second.
If children use the two languages in a single sentence, it does not mean that they are confused. It is often argued that young children, who are learning two languages, pass through a stage of confusion and mixture of these languages. With this as evidence that the child does not distinguish one language from another, leading to use the words of both languages in the same sentence. In fact, this is not a sign of confusion. It was clearly demonstrated that the use of two languages in the same sentence is a sign of older bilinguals of remarkable mastery of language (Romaine, 1995). It is also true that while a small bilingual children's use of the word in a sentence of two languages in their speech, they generally use a much more offers in one language than the normal children. This dearly indicates that they are able to clearly distinguish one language from the other. Children do not «grasp» the language is simply this: they need a supportive, growing medium.
Very common view that children are extremely easy to give learning a new language, and that it does not need almost no effort. However, the study of even one language — a process that lasts for years. Languages are very complex. In order to get into all of them, you need a great deal of experience. Learn how to conduct simple conversations can be quickly (although monolingual children about 3 years spent on learning how to talk clearly with a stranger), but the development of the capacity of formal speech takes much more time. In teaching language environment plays an important role. Children learn to speak only when they hear how they are accessed by people in many different situations. Speech development in the early stages to a large extent depends on the vocabulary. The more words children know, the better they learn to talk, and the better will be learning in school. An excellent source of new vocabulary is to read books. Reading books in any language. even when the child is just learning to sit, is a great support, not only in learning the language, but also to strengthen the emotional bond with the child's parent. Moreover, this occupation in many cultures is considered properly to both the mother and father, and is a great way to familiarize children with those aspects of culture that they cannot see in your local environment.
Bilingual children have been found to show an increased sensitivity to others’ cues (Genesee et al. 1975) and to demonstrate a greater capacity to use feedback (Ben-Zeev 1977) than monolingual children. [5, p. 12]
With developing knowledge of two languages, young bilingual children are able to produce language forms and functions stunning complexity as a result of integrating features from two grammars. They can develop high proficiency in both, though one language may develop one ahead another. [6, p.129].
2008 year was the international year of languages. In announcing this initiative, Koichiro Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO said:
We must act now as a matter of urgency, by encouraging and developing language policies that enable each linguistic community to use its first language, or mother tongue, as widely and as often as possible, including in education...Only if multilingualism is fully accepted can ali languages find their place in our globalized world.
Kazakhstan has decided towards multilingualism, it’s now getting one of most important points of education. To sum up all, turning from bilingual to a trilingual society has been taken as a matter of fact in Kazakhstan. In globalization era, Kazakhstan teaches children from the first class (age of 6–7) simultaneously 3 languages. For the country, it’s quite important to foster children being adapted to many challenging situations as well as communication. A lot of scientific researches has shown to prove that bilingual and trilingual children tend to learn better and faster that monolinguals. Improving language skills may lead to understanding other subjects better and brain’s potentials will be developed.
However practice and experiment, knowledge exchange is needed for the improvement of high quality of education system based on 3 languages so that it would fit the society and children themselves.
2. Multilingualism for all, Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, European studies on Multilingualism, 4 Volume, 1995).
3. (Language and society, an introduction to sociolinguistics, Suzanne Romaine, 1994; 2000, Oxford University press).
4. (source: Language Strategies for Bilingual Families, Suzanne Barron-Hauwaert, pp. 143–144, 150).
5. Multilingual living, explorations of language and subjectivity, Charlotte Burck, 2005, 16p).
6. The bilingual child, early development and language contact, Virginia Yip and Stephen Matthews,2007, preface.