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On 11/19/06, Benct Philip Jonsson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I wonder if there has been any
> research on the difference between children learning a
> language being immersed in a community, or only from a few
> adults in an immigrant milieu?

Only lots. :)  Most of it is driven by either (1) the desire to
improve the language skills of children raised bilingually with
limited exposure to the minority language, or (2) the desire to
measure the impact of the above on majority language skills.  The
results of the former which I've encountered are what one might
expect: the more exposure the better, but even one daily interlocutor
is sufficient for the child to gain fluency in the language.  The most
important thing is consistency.

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.
-- 
Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]