Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Analyzing Attitudes Towards Bilingualism

(Originally submitted June, 2010)

Abstract
            Over the last hundred years, the scientific and linguistic community have drastically changed their attitudes towards bilingualism.  But how much of that change has filtered down to the public?  In countries that historically have a strong monolingual culture, what are the attitudes that Anglo-monolinguals have towards bilingualism?  And how does this compare with how bilinguals view themselves?
            This report found that bilinguals and monolinguals have surprisingly similar views.  Both groups have a positive view of bilingualism, and neither appears to be worried about detrimental cognitive effects of bilingualism.
Literature Review
            In 1922, Otto Jespersen a notable Danish linguist wrote, “It is, of course, an advantage for a child to be familiar with two languages, but without doubt the advantage may be, and generally is, purchased too dear.  First of all the child in question hardly learns either of the two languages as perfectly as he would have done if he had limited himself to one…Secondly, the brain effort required to master two languages instead of one certainly diminishes the child’s power of learning other things which might and ought to be learnt (Jespersen, 1922, p. 48 in Romaine, 1989, p. 99).
            Jespersen’s theories have long since been disproved in the academic realm, but have recent more positive studies on bilingualism filtered down to the general public?
            Chin and Wigglesworth remain skeptical that it has, especially in places like “Britain, the United States and Australia, where the documented benefits [of bilingualism] have not filtered down to the general public.  In such places, the fear that bilingualism or multilingualism may somehow contribute to cognitive deficits is a further disincentive and an enduring social and psychological obstacle to the growth of multilingualism” (Chin and Wigglesworth, 2007, p. 53).
            But is that really true?  There is no doubt that  these countries have mixed attitudes towards multilingualism, but are they really worried about cognitive deficits, or are there other factors involved influencing the negative opinion?
            It must be admitted that there is certainly no shortage of literature documenting negative attitudes towards bilinguals in English speaking countries.  Linguist Barry McLaughlin wrote in 1978, “In the United States, monolingualism traditionally has been the norm.  Bilingualism was regarded as a social stigma and liability” (McLaughlin in Grosjean, 2010).
            Another bilingual, scholar Aneta Pavlenko, wrote much more recently, “In traditionally monolingual communities…bilinguals are often viewed with suspicion either as linguistic and cultural hybrids who may be in conflict with themselves, or as individuals whose shifting linguistic allegiances imply shifting political allegiances and moral commitments” (Pavlenko, 2005, p.24).
           Another study, published in 1990, looked at the public debate leading up to California passing proposition 63, and declaring English as the state’s official language.   The author then analyzed several letters to the editor from proponents of the proposal which seemed to contain a great deal of irrational hostility towards anyone guilty of speaking Spanish.  Interestingly enough, the same study also found that even opponents of declaring English the official language did not seem to question the goal of a monolingual society.  They simply felt that the bill was unnecessary because immigrant communities would naturally shift to the dominant language over a couple generations (Mackay, 1990).
            Although this particular study was done about an election issue twenty five years ago, a quick glance at current headlines shows that the English-only movement is very much alive and well in the United States.  Four, possibly five states will vote for English only driving tests this fall.  An English-only initiative will be on the ballot in the Oklahoma election (it is expected to pass) (Dokoupil, 2010).  On the municipal level, within the last two months a number of small towns in America have also passed English-only laws (Terence, 2010). And only weeks ago the Alabama gubernatorial race has received national attention when Republican candidate Tim James defiantly declared, “This is Alabama.  We speak English” (Collins, 2010).
            Nor is this attitude confined to the United States.  British Home Secretary David Blunkett recommended in 2002 that using immigrant Asian families use English at home rather than their native language to “overcome the schizophrenia which bedevils generational relationships,” (Blunkett in Pavlenko, 2005, p.28)
            But this is only one side.  On the other hand, many monolinguals are fascinated by bilinguals, regard their ability to communicate in two languages with a sense of wonder or admiration, and maybe even envy (Grosjean, 1994). How is this contradiction explained?
            Much of this disparity is explained by realizing there are two different groups of bilinguals: elective bilinguals and circumstantial bilinguals.  To the extent that there is a backlash against bilingualism, it is directed almost exclusively at circumstantial bilinguals.
            Writing about language ideology in the United States, Wiley and Lukes state that, “Bilingualism … has tended to be seen as either a curse or a blessing.  This contradiction is evident in the contrast between two drastically different policies toward bilingualism.  The first is a policy toward minority students that is intended to prescribe rapid transition out of L1 instruction into English-only instruction—often resulting in the eventual loss of L1.  The second is a policy toward monolingual English-speaking students that is intended to promote learning a foreign language,” (Wiley and Lukes, 1996, p. 511).
            Zelasko, writing on language ideology in America, and the perceived superiority of English monolingualism says, “Since English-speakers fulfill the requirements established by the various beliefs by the very fact of their being native speakers of English, mainstream America sees no danger in this group becoming bilingual” (Zelasko, 1992, p. 150).
            In fact, Zelasko goes on to say that, “The public opinion surveys document almost universal support for bilingualism for native speakers of English.  No matter what their feelings toward bilingualism for non-native speakers of English, almost all mainstream Americans want their children to study a foreign language” (Zelasko, 1992, p. 140).
            Seen through this perspective, the current literature might indicate the hostility towards bilingualism might not be against bilingualism itself, but may be simply a proxy battle in the fight for Anglo-cultural superiority, and the public is now less concerned with Otto Jesperson’s fears of “the brain effort required to master two languages.”
            Provided the bilingual is the “right type” of bilingual, perhaps the general public has absolutely no concerns about cognitive defects of bilingualism.
            And in fact, articles about parental attitudes toward bilingual education in the United States indicate that monolingual English parents often enroll their children in bilingual education precisely because they believe acquiring a second language at a young age will lead to further brain development (Craig, 1996).
            However there may be another danger at the other side of the perception spectrum: the unrealistic assumption of monolinguals that bilinguals who are completely fluent in both languages and can use both languages equally well for all purposes and situations.
            The monolingual view of bilingualism is often equated as two monolinguals in one person.  This attitude has in the past been harmful to bilinguals because it sets up unrealistic expectations (Grosjean, 2008).
            Grosjean says one thing that bilinguals mention as a disadvantage of being bilingual is the assumption that they can work effortlessly as translators and are occasionally imposed upon to translate against their will (Grosjean, 2010).
            Linguist Skutnabb-Kangas calls this mindset “monolingual naivety” and writes that bilinguals are much more aware of the limitations of bilingualism than monolinguals are.   After spending his whole life researching bilinguals, Skutnabb-Kangas writes, “I have found just two [bilinguals] who thought they knew both languages equally well” (Skutnabb-Kangas, 1981, p.  38). 
            Although this over-estimation of bilingual abilities by some monolinguals is complimentary, Grosjean warns that it can lead to negative attitudes when monolinguals find a contradiction between what they think bilinguals should be able to do, and what monolinguals are actually capable of doing (Grosjean, 1994).
            As for bilinguals themselves, the evidence from surveys suggests that bilinguals themselves have no strong feelings on bilingualism.  “It is simply a fact of life!” for them (Grosjean, 1994, p. 7).   They enjoy the convenience it gives them in communicating in different linguistic situations, but do not feel that their bilingualism defines them, or makes them cognitively different from monolinguals (Grosjean, 1989).
This Study
            A survey was designed to assess attitudes of bilingualism in the general public.
            Sixteen people participated, of which eight were bilingual, and eight were monolingual.
            Of the bilingual participants, two were from Pakistan, one was from Iran, three were from Malaysia, one was from India, and one was from Nepal.
            The monolingual participants were all native English speakers.  Three of them were local Australians.  One of them was a Canadian student.  Two of them were Americans living in Australia, and two of them were Americans in America who were e-mailed the survey, and then received a follow-up contacted by telephone.
            The survey itself had three separate goals:
1). To discover popular perceptions about the cognitive effects of bilingualism.
2). To discover popular perceptions about the limits of bilingual abilities and
3). To discover popular attitudes about the value of knowing other languages.
            Seventeen questions or statements were presented, and the participants were asked to agree or disagree with them on a Likert scale of 1 (for agreement) to 7 (for disagreement). 
            Of these seventeen questions or statements, thirteen were aimed at attitudes regarding the cognitive processes of bilingualism and the limitations of bilingual abilities.  Four were intended to discover attitudes about the value of learning another language.
            A rough draft of the survey instrument initially included questions regarding circumstantial bilingualism, the English-only movement, and bilingualism as a national issue.  It was, however, decided that since these issues have been in the news this same month, these questions might be interpreted as having a political dimension.  And it was feared that if participants began thinking of bilingual issues in terms of political loyalties on some of the questions, this attitude might spill over and colour responses to the other questions.  Ultimately it was decided for the purposes of this project to focus on attitudes towards bilingualism and cognition only.  It was the hunch of this author that if circumstantial bilinguals and politics were removed from the equation, most people would have a very positive view of bilingualism, and this survey was designed to test that hypothesis.
            Other hypotheses were that all the participants would place a high value on learning or knowing another language (based on repeated surveys indicating support for elective bilingualism).  It was also hypothesized that, at least as far as elective bilingualism was concerned, neither group would see a bilingualism as threatening, causing cognitive defects, or cognitive overload.
            Among the bilingual participants, it was hypothesized that their personal experience would lead them to have a slightly more realistic view of the limits of bilingualism.  Perhaps they might be more critical of the idea of bilingualism being fully balanced in all situations.  They might also be more likely than monolinguals to support agree with the proposition that bilinguals can occasionally mix up words and languages when speaking.  (Involuntarily mixing languages is cited as one of the inconveniences bilinguals themselves mention when talking about bilingualism (Grosjean, 1994))
            And finally it was hypothesized (based on Grosjean, 1989) that bilinguals will not think of themselves as any cognitively any different from monolinguals, neither less nor more advantaged.
Results and Discussion
Table 1
            Specific questions are discussed in more detail below, but first looking at the data as a whole (as summarized in table 1) it is interesting to note the similarity between the two groups.  Although a 7 point Likert scale was chosen to allow greater dispersion, the average scores between bilinguals and monolinguals were almost always within one unit of each other, and the greatest difference between averages was only 1.25 units (question fifteen, which is discussed in more detail below).  The similarities between these two groups on all questions make it difficult to compare them against each other.  It seems clear that whether their attitudes are right or wrong, they are at least in broad agreement.
            The first category that will be examined is the cognitive effects of bilingualism.
            It was decided one of the quickest ways to determine if Otto Jespersen’s theories on bilingualism still reflected public opinion was to insert Jespersen’s own words directly into the survey.  With only a couple of words left out (“certainly” and “the child’s”) the late professor’s own words were inserted verbatim into the survey for question number nine.  “The brain effort required to master the two languages instead of one diminishes the power of learning other things.”
            Every single participant disagreed with this statement.  All the monolingual participants ranked it as 6 or 7 strong disagreement.
            Not surprisingly, bilinguals disagreed with the statement just as strongly.  Both groups ended up averaging 6.5 disagreement. 
            This indicates that, as predicted, the general public no longer feels there is any cognitive detriment to bilingualism. 
            To confirm accuracy, the however, Jespersen’s hypothesis was re-phrased into different words for numbers three and five.  These statements were also strongly rejected by both bilinguals and monolinguals.
            As for the statements on the advantages of bilingualism (questions nine and seventeen), both monolinguals and bilinguals tended to, on average, indicate moderate agreement.
            Survey numbers related to the limitations of bilingualism brought some unexpected responses.  Although it was expected that bilinguals would be more skeptical than monolinguals about the existence of perfectly balanced bilingualism, when asked if truly bilingual people exist in the real world, all eight bilinguals answered with the strongest possible agreement.  In fact, notably, it was the only question on which all eight bilinguals completely agreed with each other.  This appears to be in contrast with Skutnabb-Kangas’s observation.
            However when questioned, most of the bilingual participants revealed that they were not thinking of themselves.  Almost all of the bilinguals claimed to be still struggling with at least one of their languages, but were confident that truly bilingual people must exist somewhere.
            Also in retrospect, perhaps question ten was poorly designed.  “Truly bilingual” is a bit of an ambiguous term, meaning whatever the participant wants it to mean.  A better designed question would have specified different domains of usage. 
            The idea of domains of usage was not completely forgotten from this survey, but was intended to be the focus of question twelve, which asked if a bilingual English speaker could speak English in all situations just as well as a monolingual English speaker.
            However, as many participants pointed out, this was also a poorly designed question, since it did not specify if English was the first acquired language or not.  Most participants assumed the hypothetical bilingual was a native English speaker, and asserted that they could speak English just as well as a monolingual.  When asked in conversation how their answers would change if English were the acquired language, many participants adjusted their answer to say there would be limits on the proficiency depending on the situation.  However there did not appear to be any difference between bilinguals and monolinguals in this response.
            Question eleven, about bilinguals accidently mixing up words from different languages when speaking, brought some unexpected responses.  It was actually intended to test monolingual negative perceptions of bilingualism.    However a number of bilingual participants confessed in conversation that they did occasionally mix up a word or two. At least one bilingual participant was very glad to find this question on the survey, because he had been doing mixing his words occasionally and had been worried it was just his problem.  Although the question was not originally designed for this purpose, oral responses from bilinguals did tend to support the literature that involuntarily mixing languages is an issue for bilinguals.
            However for question eleven the frequency adverb “often” stopped most bilinguals from agreeing with it.  And most monolinguals stopped short of full agreement for the same reason.
            Question fourteen was similar.  Some bilingual participants indicated this was an issue sometimes, but none of them regarded it as a particular problem and so tended to give it  mostly neutral responses (3 or 4) or disagree with it (6 or 7).  Many monolinguals also gave it neutral responses, but for different reasons.  They said they did not know one way or the other.
             Questions on the value of knowing and learning other languages again showed high agreement between monolinguals and bilinguals, both of whom tended to agree strongly with statements supporting the value on the value of learning other languages (numbers one and thirteen).
            The one vocal exception to this was a monolingual Australian university student freshly graduated from secondary school, and still carrying the horrors of language class with him.  He emphasized that language education should be left up to the student, and not forced on anyone.
            Although this one response was statistically meaningless, it does bring up an interesting point.  To the extent that national surveys usually focus on registered voters, surveys about foreign language education programs in schools are much more likely to be registering the opinions of the parents rather than the students who are actually do the work of learning the language (or trying to).  Years of research has constantly and consistently indicated support for expanding foreign language programs in school, (see Zelasko, quoted above) but one wonders if all these adults are signing up for language classes themselves (and if would be enough adult education centers to hold them all if they did.)  It would be interesting to do a study focusing on the opinions of students actually enrolled in compulsory foreign language programs in schools, and see how their attitudes about foreign languages contrasts with the public at large.
             Both monolingual and bilingual participants also showed uniformity in disagreeing with statements disparaging multilingualism.
            Otto Von Bismark’s quote in particular, about foreign languages being useful only for head waiters and clerks (number 15), evoked the most emotional negative responses.
            But interestingly enough, to the extent there was agreement with this it came from the bilingual half of the participants.  Every single monolingual marked it as a 7 (strongest possible disagreement).  But on the bilingual half, one participant marked it as a 6, and another two even agreed with the iron chancellor: one giving it a 2, another a 3.
            When pressed on this further, both of them expressed frustrations that their bilingual abilities had not opened up career paths to them that they had at one time expected.
            It is possible that monolinguals might have an overly romanticized view of the career possibilities that bilingualism would bring.  Whereas bilinguals know from their own experience the limits that language ability, unaccompanied by other skills, will bring.  (The amount of circumstantial bilinguals who can be found working low level jobs in every country would tend to also support this view.)  However clearly value is in the eye of the beholder.  Grosjean reports that most bilinguals talk about how much bilingualism enriches their lives by allowing them access to different cultures and a greater range of thought and literature (Grosjean, 2010). And this view was expressed by the majority of the participants, who specifically cited communication, culture and literature as the value of foreign languages.
Limitations and Conclusions
            It is perhaps meaningless to talk in generalities about the opinions of monolinguals and bilinguals.  One might just as well talk about the opinions of men and women, or the Oriental and the Occidental.  Every individual will have his or her own unique opinion, and any attempt to divide the human race into two separate categories and then make generalizations about their attitudes is bound to end in failure.  This may be one of the reasons why there is so much contradictory literature on the attitudes towards bilingualism.
            Added to this general problem, in this particular project the number of participants was too small to be of statistical significance.  And, as they were all personal friends of the author, they can not in any way be considered a representative sample. 
            Furthermore, there is always the problem when doing interviews that the participants tell the researcher what they think the researcher wants to hear instead of their true opinions.  For example, it is possible (although I have no reason to suspect it) that one of the monolingual participants actually has quite negative views towards bilingualism, but fears that these views are politically incorrect and is thus hesitant to admit to them.
            All those caveats aside, one of the interesting things that emerged from this survey was how closely bilingual and monolingual opinion were aligned with each other. 
            As expected, neither group was worried about any detrimental affect of bilingualism on cognitive functions.
            Bilingual participants, in the oral responses, did tend to show more awareness of the limits of bilingualism and the issue of involuntary language switching, although this was not reflected so much in the written survey—possibly due to some poorly designed questions.  It would be interesting to do further studies on the limitations of bilingualism with a questionnaire specifically designed for this.
            Finally, if suitable questions could be designed, it would be interesting to do a survey which also takes into account some of the more political attitudes towards bilingualism and the English-only movement, and see how these compare with attitudes on the value of elective bilingualism.


References
Chin, N.G., and Wigglesworth, G. (2007). Bilingualism: An Advanced Resource Book. New York: Routledge.
Collins, G. (2010). Alabama Goes Viral.  The New York Times.  May 28, 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/29/opinion/29collins.html
Craig, B. (1996). Parental Attitudes Toward Bilingualism in a Local Two-Way Immersion Program. Bilingual Research Journal, 20, 383-410.
Dokoupil, T.  (2010). Why ‘English Only’ Will Get the OK in Oklahoma. Newsweek.  May 15, 2010.  Retrieved from: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/05/15/why-english-only-will-get-the-ok-in-oklahoma.html
Grosjean, F. (1989). The bilingual as a person. In Titone, R. (Ed.). On the Bilingual Person. Ottawa: Canadian Society for Italian Studies.
Grosjean, F. (1994). Individual Bilingualism. In The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Grosjean, F. (2008). Studying Bilinguals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Grosjean, F. (2010). Bilingual: Life and Reality. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Mackay, S.D.A. (1990). California Proposition 63: Language Attitudes Reflected in the Public Debate. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 508, 135-146.
Pavlenko, A. (2005). Emotions and Multilingualism. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Romaine, S. (1989). Bilingualism.  Oxford: Basil Blackwell
Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (1981). Bilingualism or Not: The Education of Minorities. (L. Malmberg and D. Crane, Trans.) Avon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Terence, N. (2010). Speak English Only, Small NY Towns Decree. Aol News. May 15, 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/speak-english-only-small-ny-towns-decree/19477485
Wiley, T.G. and Lukes, M. (1996). English-Only and Standard English Ideologies in the US. TESOL Quarterly, 30, 511-535.
Zelasko, N.F. (1992). The Bilingual double standard: Mainstream Americans’ attitudes toward bilingualism. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation.  Washington, DC: Georgetown University. Retrieved from: http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/files/rcd/BE023395/The_Bilingual_Double_Standard.pdf


Appendix 1: Questionnaire
Country____________________________
Are you:
A: Monolingual
B: Bilingual
C: Spent some time studying another language, but never really got the hang of it.
1.  Everyone should learn at least one foreign language.
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7       
                                                                                     
2.  It is possible for someone to speak more than one language fluently.
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7    

3 There is a limited amount of information that can be stored in the human brain at any one time.  Space taken up by grammar and vocabulary of a second language will result in decreased memory available for other information.
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7       

4.  Knowing a foreign language would be nice, but it wouldn’t be worth all the trouble of learning it.
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7     

5 The human brain has trouble processing and storing more than one language.
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7       


6.  People who can speak more than one language fluently fascinate me.  I don’t know how they do it.
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7       

7.  It is possible for someone to be completely fluent in more than one language
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7       

8.  Learning a second language develops the brain, and leads to increased intelligence
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7       

9.  The brain effort required to master the two languages instead of one diminishes the power of learning other things
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7       

10.  Do truly bilingual people exist in the real world?
Yes --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------No
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7       

11.  Do bilingual people often accidentally mix up words from different languages when speaking?
Yes --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------No
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7




12.  Can a bilingual English speaker speak English in all situations just as well as a monolingual English speaker?
Yes --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------No
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7   

13.  Foreign language education should start in Elementary school
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7       

14.  Bilinguals can become confused about which language to think in
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7   

15.  “Foreign languages are useful for head waiters and couriers only”—Otto Von Bismarck
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7

16.  If you start to become fluent in one language, you will begin to lose fluency in your native tongue.
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7       

17.  A bilingual person will have cognitive advantages over a monolingual person.
Agree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Disagree
1----------------2----------------3----------------4----------------5----------------6----------------7       


Appendix 2: Summary of the data for monolinguals


Statistics

Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q5
Q6
Q7
Q8
Q9
Q10
Q11
Q12
Q13
Q14
Q15
Q16
Q17
N
Valid
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
Missing
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Mean
2.3750
1.2500
6.1250
6.5000
6.1250
3.3750
1.8750
2.3750
6.5000
1.5000
3.5000
1.8750
2.1250
4.6250
7.0000
6.2500
3.3750
Median
2.0000
1.0000
6.0000
7.0000
6.5000
3.0000
1.0000
2.0000
6.5000
1.0000
3.5000
1.0000
1.5000
4.5000
7.0000
7.0000
3.0000
Mode
2.00
1.00
6.00
7.00
7.00
3.00
1.00
2.00
6.00a
1.00
1.00a
1.00
1.00
4.00
7.00
7.00
3.00
Std. Deviation
1.59799
.46291
.99103
.75593
.99103
1.18773
2.10017
1.18773
.53452
1.41421
2.07020
1.45774
2.03101
1.06066
.00000
1.38873
1.59799
Variance
2.554
.214
.982
.571
.982
1.411
4.411
1.411
.286
2.000
4.286
2.125
4.125
1.125
.000
1.929
2.554
Range
5.00
1.00
3.00
2.00
2.00
3.00
6.00
3.00
1.00
4.00
5.00
4.00
6.00
3.00
.00
4.00
5.00
Minimum
1.00
1.00
4.00
5.00
5.00
2.00
1.00
1.00
6.00
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.00
3.00
7.00
3.00
2.00
Maximum
6.00
2.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
5.00
7.00
4.00
7.00
5.00
6.00
5.00
7.00
6.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
a. Multiple modes exist. The smallest value is shown





Appendix 3: Summary of the data for bilinguals

Statistics

Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q5
Q6
Q7
Q8
Q9
Q10
Q11
Q12
Q13
Q14
Q15
Q16
Q17
N
Valid
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
Missing
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Mean
1.2500
1.2500
5.7500
6.0000
6.7500
4.1250
1.1250
2.7500
6.5000
1.0000
3.3750
1.3750
1.2500
4.7500
5.7500
6.0000
3.2500
Median
1.0000
1.0000
6.5000
6.5000
7.0000
4.0000
1.0000
2.0000
7.0000
1.0000
3.5000
1.0000
1.0000
5.0000
7.0000
7.0000
3.5000
Mode
1.00
1.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
2.00
1.00
2.00
7.00
1.00
2.00a
1.00
1.00
3.00a
7.00
7.00
1.00a
Std. Deviation
.70711
.46291
1.58114
1.41421
.46291
2.10017
.35355
1.98206
.75593
.00000
1.40789
.74402
.70711
1.66905
2.05287
1.60357
1.58114
Variance
.500
.214
2.500
2.000
.214
4.411
.125
3.929
.571
.000
1.982
.554
.500
2.786
4.214
2.571
2.500
Range
2.00
1.00
4.00
4.00
1.00
5.00
1.00
6.00
2.00
.00
4.00
2.00
2.00
4.00
5.00
4.00
4.00
Minimum
1.00
1.00
3.00
3.00
6.00
2.00
1.00
1.00
5.00
1.00
2.00
1.00
1.00
3.00
2.00
3.00
1.00
Maximum
3.00
2.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
2.00
7.00
7.00
1.00
6.00
3.00
3.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
5.00
a. Multiple modes exist. The smallest value is shown



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I want to use this paper as a reference in my essay and just wondered who exactly wrote it?

Many thanks

Joel said...

I'm flattered you would want to reference my essay. I should warn you it's probably not considered a reliable source. It's a student essay that is unpublished that I just posted on my blog. It is a study of a small number of participants that does not reach statistical significance.
However, all that being said, my name is Joel Swagman. My main blog is over here: joelswagman.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

OK that's great thank you. When discussing your hypotheses, you believed "all the participants would place a high value on learning or knowing another language (based on repeated surveys indicating support for elective bilingualism)" could you possibly direct me to any of these existing surveys or any existing literature which show participants placing a high value on being bilingual?

Your help would be much appreciated Joel!

Many thanks.

Joel said...

I actually wrote this paper back in 2010. So it's a bit older than the posting date indicates (something I probably should have indicated on the top, and will edit in a minute.)
So, it's a bit foggy in my memory exactly what articles I was drawing on, but re-reading the paper, I appear to be basing that on a couple of sources. I'll quote the relevant paragraphs here again:

In fact, Zelasko goes on to say that, “The public opinion surveys document almost universal support for bilingualism for native speakers of English. No matter what their feelings toward bilingualism for non-native speakers of English, almost all mainstream Americans want their children to study a foreign language” (Zelasko, 1992, p. 140)

And in fact, articles about parental attitudes toward bilingual education in the United States indicate that monolingual English parents often enroll their children in bilingual education precisely because they believe acquiring a second language at a young age will lead to further brain development (Craig, 1996).

Years of research has constantly and consistently indicated support for expanding foreign language programs in school, (see Zelasko, quoted above)

These sources, as indicated in my bibliography, are:

Craig, B. (1996). Parental Attitudes Toward Bilingualism in a Local Two-Way Immersion Program. Bilingual Research Journal, 20, 383-410

Zelasko, N.F. (1992). The Bilingual double standard: Mainstream Americans’ attitudes toward bilingualism. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. Washington, DC: Georgetown University. Retrieved from: http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/files/rcd/BE023395/The_Bilingual_Double_Standard.pdf

(Hmmm... although in retrospect I probably shouldn't have been citing an unpublished paper in an academic paper. Perhaps not a legitimate source?)