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Article summary: An investigation though different types of bilinguals and bilingualism

By Hamzeh Mordi

The article is about an investigation of bilingual which is a person that knows how to
use two language in some degree and bilingualism which means the usage of two
languages by individual or a group. Bilinguals is considered as a set of types in linguistic
that is different from monolinguals. Among bilinguals, there are some that can only speak
only their mother tongue or their second language fluently or even both. There are several
attempts to classify the category of bilinguals by the level fluency in the two language
and perceived by age, context and manner of acquisition.

In order to classify the type of bilinguals into different categories, it is depended on


linguistic, cognitive and how acquisition take place. The first type of bilinguals are the
early and late bilinguals. The early bilinguals are people that mastered two different
language at the same time or partially at both language at an early age. The language
learnt was their mother tongue (L1) and a secondary language (L2). The late bilinguals
however learn their secondary language at their adolescence or adult. They already
mastered the mother tongue and they are partially mastered secondary language.

There are also balanced and dominant bilinguals in which balanced bilinguals are
fairly proficient in both L1 and L2 while dominant bilinguals have a better mastery in one
language over their other language in L1 or L2. The compound, coordinate and
subordinate bilinguals are to show the differences of managing their own language in
individuals. The compound bilinguals are able the know the meaning of the word even
though is from two different word from two different language. However, coordinate
bilinguals remember the meaning of the word and the word itself separately for both
primary and secondary language. The subordinate bilinguals interpret the second
language by using their first language as a reference for the meaning.

Folk and elite bilinguals are categorize through various social standing of an
individuals. Therefore focusing language in terms with social status. Folk bilinguals are
the minorities that their first language does not have high status in the society. On the
contrary the elite bilinguals are people that their primary language have high social status
and dominance towards other language in the society with the ability to speak other
language as well.

Bilingualism can also be additive and subtractive as well for bilinguals. Both
consider how the learning of secondary language influence the retention of the primary
language. Additive bilinguals can improve their secondary language without losing
fluency of the first language whereas subtractive bilinguals can learn secondary language
but the fluency of the first language decreases and subsequently replaced by the
secondary language to be the first language.

The research of bilingual and bilingualism have clearly differentiate the types of
bilinguals and bilingualism. It is important to know that the types of bilinguals are
connected and can be discussed as children with early learning of languages can help
develop better individuals that can use both language efficiently in all categories.

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