Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 5 May 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Copyright © 2008
M. S. Thirumalai


The Effect of Proficiency on Multilingualism, Error Finding, Social Class and Attitude
in Multilingual Pre-University Mysore Students

Reza Najafdari, Ph.D. Candidate


The research indicated here is a reversed relationship between the proficiency levels and the number of languages the multilingual individuals possess, which is significant (P<0/001) (High proficient students know less number of languages, or the students who know more number of languages score low in proficiency test). The languages under investigation were Kannada, Urdu, Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, English, Tamil and others.

Besides, the paper tries to identify the effect of multilingual proficiency on error finding (spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. Moreover, the paper identifies the effect of proficiency on the social class and attitude of the students towards learning, which is significant at P<0/001 and P< 0/0 5 respectively.

Keywords: Proficiency, Multilingualism- Proficiency-Social Class-Attitude-Error finding

1. Introduction: Bilingualism

Genesee (1978) noted that bilinguals tend to separate two linguistic systems and apply them independently. In this manner, we should consider the phenomenon of two languages in a balanced form. However, Fishman, Cooper, and Ma (1971) commented that balanced bilingualism is meaningless per se. Cummins (1976) stated that most of the research based on the balanced bilinguals indicate a child is not really dominant in both languages. It was implied that each bilingual is dominant in a language in a particular domain which means bilingualism is situation oriented.

Accordingly, some advantages and disadvantages of bilingualism are mentioned by different scholars: Landry (1973) pinpointed that bilinguals are those who study a second language and they are better in diverse thinking skills than monolinguals. Carringer's (1974) research demonstrated the prevalence and the superiority of verbal and non-verbal bilingual performance to the monolinguals. Powers and Lopez (1985) showed that bilinguals are better than monolinguals in the complex and perceptual motor coordination in the brain. Ianco-Worrall (1972) noted that bilinguals show more metalinguistic awareness in terms of language forms and properties.

The research conducted on the children strengthened the notion that bilingual children are better in both verbal and nonverbal evaluations, compared to monolinguals. Moreover, it was shown that bilinguals possessed more cognitive flexibility and concept formation rather than monolinguals (Hakuta, 1987). Balkan's (1970) finding on nonverbal tests bolster the above assumption towards bilinguals.

However, Albert and Obler (1978) implied that cerebral dominance among bilinguals is not clear-cut. Meisses (1990) demonstrated that learning strategy in bilinguals and monolinguals follow the same pattern with no significant difference. But De Houwer (1999) indicated that bilinguality is not parallel with delay or disorderliness in language acquisition.

Bilingualism in Different Domains

Generally speaking, bilinguals are described in terms of their efficiency in competence or lack thereof as well as in terms of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, and sub skills such as pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar style.

Ben-zee (1972) showed that bilinguals score lower in vocabulary but higher in verbal material. Furthermore, it was shown that high score in verbal is a sign of cognitive development. Doyle, Champagne and Segalwtz (1978) concluded the same result that monolinguals are better in vocabulary knowledge than bilinguals. Petito and Holowka (2002) rejected the assumption that early Lang exposure to different language will lead to delay in Lang acquisition, and they specifically emphasized that the child's semantic concept and image would not be tarnished.

Bain (1975) asserted that bilinguals can take advantage of showing their feelings appropriately due to processing more complex and organized Language system. McLaughlin (1984) stressed that bilingual children are more sensitive to formal aspects of language. The prestige issue is also taken into consideration Claude et al. (1953) demonstrated that higher social class bilinguals can communicate more fluently than the rest social strata. Lambert's (1997) finding confirmed the positive relationship between social class, Prestige and communication in various contexts in bilinguals.

Proficiency, Bilingualism and Multilingualism

Language proficiency may be considered as the competence ranging from monolingualism to multilingualism.

Some advantages and disadvantage the effect of proficiency on bilingualism and multilingualism are proposed, as briefly mentioned above.

However, to mention a few, Smith (1931), Thomspson (1952) and Weinreich (1963) implied that multilingualism has a negative effect on performance (e.g., more language knowledge is equivalent to poor performance). Ferguson and Huebner (1989) stated that the impact of bilingualism on learning different fields is negative. Hamers and Blanc (1989) and Baker (1996) as opposed to Bialystok (1991) indicated that bilingualism is parallel with low educational achievement.

Fledge et al. (1999) demonstrated that high proficiency in lexical domains in different languages can be achieved but grammatical understanding will lag behind.

Focus of This Article

In this article, I report on my research which proposed to investigate the following:

H1: No effect of proficiency on multilingualism can be detected.

H2: No effect of Proficiency of finding error is found.

H3: No difference between specific and mixed detected errors can be found at different levels of proficiency.

H4: The effect of Proficiency on two categories of social class and attitude is totally insignificant.

H5: The effects of Proficiency levels on social class are not significant.

H6: The effect of Proficiency on attitude of students towards courses is not meaningful.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Effect of Temporal Variations on Phoneme Identification Skills in Children and Adults - Comparative Study | Indianness in R. K. Narayan's Novel - The Man-Eater of Malgudi | English Vocabulary Learning Strategies Manipulated by the Students of Azad University, District 5: A Gender-oriented Study | The Impact and Relevance of Hedda Gabler in Modern Days | Search for Identity and Self in Indian Poetry in English by Women Writers | Teaching English in Minority Institutions | The Sociolinguistics and Cultural Considerations of English-Arabic Translation of Political News | Attitudinal Factor in Second Language Acquisition - An Illustrative Example from a Class in University | A Study on Emotional Skills and Adjustment towards First and Second Language Learning and Academic Achievement | Nonverbal Communication in Tamil Novels - A Book in Tamil | The Effect of Proficiency on Multilingualism, Error Finding, Social Class and Attitude in Multilingual Pre-University Mysore Students | A Review of Muzafar Desmond Tate's The Malaysian Indians: History, Problems and Future | HOME PAGE of May 2009 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Reza Najafdari, Ph.D. Candidate
Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) and University of Mysore
Mysore 570 006

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