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Aspects of Bilingual Acquisition

In his article on the bilingual acquisition, Genesee (2006) focused on the main concerns expressed by parents and educators regarding the ways preschool children gain proficiency in two languages simultaneously. The author suggested that all children can learn two languages in their early childhood if they are consistently exposed to both of them in approximately equal proportions. Kids who are raised by parents of different origins can develop a better sense of belonging and cultural identity while learning two languages (Genesee, 2006). The acquisition of the language is a complex process that is strictly individual for all children. It is not necessary to worry that the child will mix the learned vocabulary in two different languages. Genesee (2006) argued that individuals can differentiate languages starting from a very young age. The best strategy that the parents can choose is using the non-dominant language in the community at home to support the learning process and enrich the kid’s vocabulary.

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The information given in the article both confirmed and challenged my previous knowledge of bilingual education. While I knew that bilingual acquisition is common, I did not realize that the number of children learning two languages is statistically close to the number of kids mastering only one language. Genesee (2016) confirmed my knowledge of bilingual acquisition, emphasizing the significance of consistent exposure to both languages. I was also aware of the role of community in developing proficiency in two languages at the same time. The language which is used at preschool or daycare should be used less at home to facilitate the learning process of the non-dominant language. One aspect that challenged my previous understanding of bilingualism is its association with cultural identity. With two parents speaking distinct languages, the child can fail to develop a cultural identity for both ethnicities, growing detached from one of their origins.


Genesee, F. (2006). Bilingual acquisition. Web.

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