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Analysis of Bi-Lingualism and Biculturalism Phenomena

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An additional factor that I think has a connecting link to the level of acculturation is the age of the L2 student. I think that younger students find it easier to acculturate into the new environment. Chomsky opined that by a certain age the LAD is worn out and is no longer available by puberty. Indeed I do agree with this opinion. From my observation, adolescents (and more so adults) have great difficult acculturating in a new environment when the LAD is no longer available. This exacerbates the challenges of learning the L2 and presents the possibility of a poor outcome.

The introduction to socio-linguistics as a course has paid substantial dividends to me. It has widened my horizons and made me come to appreciate the importance of all dialects and languages. I mention this because it relates to the attitude of one writer who believed some languages, such as the various lingua franca, pidgins and Creoles, have marginal status. As a child growing up, I had friends who were Jamaicans. We all spoke the English language, but somehow they pronounced some of their words differently, such as ‘ mon‘ for man.

On occasions, at home, I would imitate some of my friend’ s words, but I was absolutely forbidden to speak like Jamaicans. In fact, I grew up thinking that the Jamaican dialect as used by my friends was an inferior form of English, spoken by poorer people with a sub-standard form of education, or who were too lazy to speak proper English. However, on closer scrutiny, the Jamaican dialect development has indeed followed the path of any other dialect. Jamaica, as a country, was at one point controlled by British slavemasters and a slave population consisting of Africans.

Both masters and slaves spoke a different language and for the development of the trade, a lingua franca was developed. The second stage of the development occurred because there was a need for social communication between the different social groups. Slaves came from different places and spoke different languages, hence the need for another type of lingua franca, called a pidgin.

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