18 August 2022
Ask someone their opinion on bilingualism and you are likely to hear statements such as: learning two languages from birth confuses children and impairs their cognitive development', 'Bilingual children can't speak either of their two languages properly' or 'You can only become bilingual if you start acquiring your second language as a young child.' Though common currency among the general public, each of these statements is in fact a myth. In this course, you will discover why this is the case as we review some of the most important findings from the research on bilingual children.
This course starts with a general introduction to early bilingualism, discussing myths and facts, introducing key terms and notions, and presenting some actual research issues. Each subsequent lecture will touch upon a specific topic (such as age of acquisition, code-switching and cognitive advantages of bilingualism), providing theoretical background and examples of recent studies. Students are expected to read first-hand literature and to learn develop a critical attitude towards theories and data. The instructor will help them to identify (still) unsolved problems and she will encourage them to formulate new research questions.
This course is offered by the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS, the home of linguistic and communications research at Utrecht University.
Kirsten Schutter, MSc
To learn about recent research about bilingual children.
EUR 200: Course + course materials
EUR 200: Housing fee (optional)