Reading and Use of English

part 5

Multiple choice

1 What do you think are the advantages of growing up bilingual?

What, if any, are the disadvantages?

2 You are going to read an article on multilingualism. For questions 1-6, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think best fits according to the text.

Don't forget!

Read the text through quite quickly first to get a general idea of the content. As you read, compare your ideas in exercise 1 with those contained in the text.


Two languages good, three languages even better

Naomi is the nine-year-old daughter of Jane and Dug Gray, a translator and stone-mason who live in Finistere, the heart of Celtic Brittany in north- west France. They have opted not to bring up their three children bilingually in French and English, but trilingually, by enrolling them in Brittany's educational system, Diwan, whereby all lessons, bar English and French, are taught in Breton. Around 3000 children in Brittany are educated via this immersion method that has played an important role in the revival of the Breton language.

Jane admits that the decision was controversial: 'Other British parents said: "How dare you do that? Don't your children have enough to take on?"' But she had seen how quickly the girls absorbed French: 'I felt sure they could take in another language.' The girls' father, Dug, admits to being envious of their abilities. 'After 16 years in France, I'm comfortable with the language, but the kids still pick me up on my pronunciation and grammar mistakes,' he says.

It was once thought that forcing a child to learn more than one language could slow academic development but according to Professor Colin Baker, a world expert on bilingualism, the effect is the opposite. The evidence is that bi- and trilingualism actually increases mental capacity and that multilingual children tend to do better at school. 'The latest research shows that in intelligence tests, children with two or more well developed languages have higher scores,' he says. 'Bilingual children have two or more words for objects and ideas, so the links between words and concepts are looser, allowing more fluent, flexible and creative thinking.' He adds that children learning languages young also tend to have more confidence and better general communication skills.

Professor Tony Cline is an educational psychologist specializing in language development in children. He says, 'We used to think [the brain] had a limited capacity, like a milk bottle, and that it was impossible to pour two pints of milk into a pint bottle. Now we understand that our brains are capable of making an infinite number of connections; there is no limit to what we can take in.' He concedes that there might be minor disadvantages in having -a bi- or trilingual childhood: 'The child sometimes applies the rules of one language to another, and so makes mistakes - but these grammatical 'errors' are soon outgrown, as long as the child is exposed to good models of language.'

It seems that by giving your child the option of becoming multilingual, you are offering them far more than just the acquisition of foreign language. That certainly seems to be the case for the Gray girls. All three are getting top grades at school and are literate in three languages. Naomi has also successfully taken on German, where she is proof that bilingualism increases language-learning aptitude.

Says Prof Cline: 'Multilingual children pick up other languages quickly because they have a more flexible approach and are used to handling different forms of syntax, grammar and vocabulary.'

Jane thinks her daughters have gained more than just language; they have also gained culturally. In fact, the girls are all enthusiastic about Breton culture: Naomi does extro-curriculcr Breton step dancing and loves singing in Breton and attending dance evenings known as fest-noz while Nina takes part in the Breton sport of Gouren, a form of Celtic wrestling. Says Prof Baker: 'Multilingual children gain the benefits of multiple sets of literatures, traditions, ideas, ways of thinking and behaving.'

And, he stresses, if parents have the opportunity to give their child the gift of another language, they should jump at it. Because in today's global marketplace, on top of all the above, multilinguals are far more employable than monolinguals. 'I find it a great shame that languages don't have a higher place in the classroom in the UK because English is a mainstream language of business but, in the future, that is going to change.'

Question No. /

1 What does the writer say about the school that Naomi attends?

Question No. /

2 Some people criticized the Grays for

Question No. /

3 Professor Baker says that, compared to other children, multilingual children

Question No. /

4 Professor Cline uses the example of the milk bottle to illustrate

Question No. /

5 Naomi's experience is presented as evidence that multilingual children

Question No. /

6 What does 'it' refer to in line 82?

Reacting to the text

In the last line, Professor Baker says 'that is going to change'. What do you think might replace English as the language of business?

How might your life be different now if you had grown up bilingual in your mother tongue and English?

Vocabulary 2: Make and do

Complete the gaps in 1-8 with the correct form of make or do. Write one or two words in each gap. Here are two examples from the reading.

Question No. /

Multilingual children tend to dobetter at school.

The child sometimes applies the rules of one language to another, and so makes mistakes.

1 I don't always my homework; I know I should more effort.

2 I think I a lot of progress since I started this course.

3 I always sure I some form of physical exercise every day.

4 I'm not very good at decisions; it takes me ages up my mind.

5 I should some housework this weekend; my house couldwith a good clean.

6 I'd be very nervous if I was asked a speech in public; I'd probably a mess of it.

7 I've been nothing but work lately; it would me good to go out more in the evenings. It certainly wouldn't me any harm.

8 I'd love a job that has somethingwith animals; it would be a great way a living.

Discuss how true each of the sentences in exercise 1 is for you.

نظرات کاربران

ماژیک فسفری

با استفاده از ماژیک فسفری می توانید کلمات و بخش های مهم را برای خود علامت گذاری نمایید و هنگام پاسخ به آزمون از آنها استفاده کنید. برای از بین بردن بخش های رنگی دوباره روی آن کلیک نمایید.

دفترچه یادداشت

هر تعدادی که دوست دارید دفترچه یادداشت ایجاد کنید و نکات مهم را در آن بنویسید.
برای استفاده از دفترچه یادداشت بر روی قسمتی از درس یا آزمون که می خواهید در آنجا نکته ی مهمی را قرار دهید کلیک نمایید.سپس در آن قسمت یک دفترچه یادداشت جدید ایجاد میشود و با کلیک بر روی آن می توانید بازش کنید و نکته های مهم را بنویسید.