Monolingual competence should be the default benchmark of language development.
If so, why is this significant? Problematic?? What has been your experience with this approach?
Today we explored the topic of Second language acquisition (SLA) and discussed how we as teachers can develop and utilized our skills in encouraging students to learn more than one language in and outside of the classroom. Our group definition of monolingualism focused on it being the primary language children learn growing up, which we often perceive to be as one singular primary language, which is predominantly perceived to be English. We felt that this is a problematic perspective, as it overlooks and simplifies the fact that “in many parts of the globe, most children grow up speaking two or more languages simultaneously [and that] these cases are in fact the majority in our species”(Ortega, 2009). In my own personal experience, monolingualism was prevalent, as it was assumed and believed by many of my teachers, that most of the students beginning and continuing in the French Immersion program at my school, primarily only spoke English, and French was to be viewed as “in addition” to it.