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Mark, Lars, 

This attitude was prevalent in Central Europe ca. 30 years ago when I was
growing up. My L1 English mother was confronted with a lot of resistance
from German nursery- and primary-school teachers as well as paediatricians
who considered bilingual bringing up detrimental to a child's psyche and
intelligence. 

From personal experience and that with my 10 years younger sister we were
both (at age 5 respectively) said to have twice the vocabulary in the
majority language (German) as the kids in the same age, and probably had the
same vocabulary doubled in the minority language (English) - that means we
had quadruple the vocabulary of our age peers. I've never, ever felt any
disadvantage at being bilingual - but very much the contrary. 

I can imagine that the resistance in the US has more to do with ideology
than pedagogy. The consensus still appears to be that the children ought
assimilate into an English speaking environment and become valuable
contributors to Anglo-American society. 

Dan

 

Den 19. nov. 2006 kl. 14.53 skrev Mark J. Reed:

> In the second case, there have been conflicting results as to whether

> or not the minority language learning is harmful to progress in the

> majority language, but the consensus seems to be that it isn't.  It'd

> be nice if more professionals (educators, speech therapists, etc) were

> familiar with such research.  At least in the US, it's very common for

> parents raising bilingual children to encounter resistance or

> hostility from professionals who are far too ready to lay any problems

> at the feet of the bilingual environment.