Friday, January 31, 2014

MULTIPLE TEXT READING-INTO-WRITING PROJECT: THE ADVANTAGES OF BILINGUALISM


This task involves a collection of three reading activities which all pave the way for one common writing activity so be prepared to spread it out over a day or two. It is suggested you complete all three tasks before you attempt the writing task for maximum benefit.
BEFORE YOU READ
·         What is bilingualism? Is it simply knowing more than one language?
·         Are there any bilingual communities in your country?
·         Until recently, it was thought that speaking more than one language was a handicap. Do you agree?
·         Can you think of any advantages of bilingualism?
NOW WATCH THE FOLLOWING

 The benefits of a bilingual brain - Mia Nacamulli https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMmOLN5zBLY

 Language and Bilingualism in the Brain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5rvmczGANc



TEXT ONE: HOW LANGUAGE SEEMS TO SHAPE OUR VIEW OF THE WORLD
By: Alan Yu
Published: January 2, 2014; www.npr.org
Level of difficulty: **
Note to the student: this is a difficult level two or an easy level three so don’t make this the first reading task in this category that you do.
1.       Read Broditsky’s experiment carefully. The five year old aboriginal girls always got the question right because………………………………………………………………..(Be specific)
2.       What does “those changes” in the phrase “Researchers are starting to study how those changes happen” refer to?
3.       What does “That’s exactly the case” refer to?
4.       Read the example of the cups and glasses carefully. This example supports the earlier contention that…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
5.       Read the example pertaining to Vladimir Nobokov. What conclusion can we draw from the example?
6.       Nobokov’s initial theory that “he could just translate the book” into Russian proved impossible because……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
7.       Why would eye-witness testimony provided by an Englishman and a Spaniard be different although they were describing the same event?
8.       What genral principle was being tested in “the language hoax”?
9.       Broditsky feels “the hoax experiment”  doesn’t necessarily disprove her theory but it does indicate that…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
TEXT TWO: NEW STUDY SHOWS BRAIN BENEFITS OF BILINGUALISM
By: Barbara J. King
 Published: November 14, 2013; www.npr.org
Level of Difficulty: **
QUESTIONS
1.       The India study revealed, for the first time, the link between bilingualism and the onset of dementia. True or false?
2.       Not knowing how to read and write was found not to affect the positive influence of bilingualism. True or false?
3.       What made India especially ideal for the study was the……………………………………………………
4.       What does “the trick” in the phrase “is enough to do the trick” refer to?
5.       What three additional advantages of bilingualism are mentioned in the text?


TEXT THREE: SPEAKING MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE COULD PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S

By: Nancy Shute
Published: January 10, 2013; www.npr.org
Level of difficulty: **
QUESTIONS
  1. What does “the idea” in the phrase “to test the idea” refer to?
  2. What does “the task” in the phrase “ his bilingual seniors were better at the task” refer to? Why exactly were they better at the task?
  3. The fact that bilingual seniors’ brains seemed to be working like young adults’ proves that………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
  4. Age related declines in thinking and memory seem to be partially dealt with thanks to………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
  5. What does “That” refer to in the phrase “That , he says, would be more useful to people”?
WRITING TASK
The writing task draws on all three texts as all three discuss various positive effects of bilingualism. Draw on all three and follow the plan below to write a 5 paragraph essay.
In your introduction, define bilingualism and provide examples of communities: the Armenians, residents of Quebec, the Irish, the Welsh, the Jews, offspring of mixed marriages and the like. Then state the old view concerning bilingualism – that it was a handicap – and state that that has been disproved. Then comes your thesis statement, which should state clearly that you will be discussing various advantages of bilingualism.
In your first developmental paragraph, discuss the positive effects on the brain:
  • Compensating for age related declines in thinking and memory
  • Help in protecting against the losses caused by Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Delaying the onset of dementia
In your second developmental paragraph, discuss the positive effects in terms of personal expression
  • The effects on memory (Vladimir Nobokov)
  • Switching between languages allows different personality traits to emerge
  • Provides flexibility in personal expression
In your third developmental paragraph, discuss the global effects: the enhancement of understanding, world peace, cultural awareness, cultural acceptence and the like.
In your conclusion, you can discuss measures to increase access to a second language in early childhood to spread the benefits. Alternatively, you could write a restatement.
MULTIPLE TEXT READING-INTO-WRITING ACTIVITY KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
At first glance, the topic seems not to have a wow factor but on further study, it emerges that this initial impression is wrong – although I do see it may not appeal to everyone. On the plus side, the three texts slot in together perfectly covering all the bases so to speak. As such, they lead to a very fruitful writing activity. One of the purposes of the activity is to prepare students for more research related writing activities including videos and multiple texts. It is recommended that the plan should be studied to be able to grasp how it has been put together for future reference.
TEXT ONE: KEY
  1. The Australian aboriginal language doesn’t use words like left and right. It uses compas points. The difference is language would be too genral. In order to decide whether your answer is too genral, imagine you are reading the question and answer for the first time. Do you feel the need to ask an additional question, to demand an explanation? If the answer is yes, your initial answer is wrong.
  2. Change in the way you behave, how you sort things into categories, what you notice
  3. The fact that bilinguals switch focus depending on the language they use
  4. People speaking different languages group or observe things differently
  5. One’s native language could also affect memory
  6. He recalled a lot of things that he did not remember when he was writing it in English.
  7. Because English doesn’t always note the intent of a person but Spanish does.
  8. Were constrained by their language
  9. Language isn’t the only factor affecting what we notice.
TEXT TWO: KEY
  1. False
  2. True
  3. Its cultural context. The purpose of this question is to test your summary skills. The answer provided summarizes the previous two sentences and is the only one that fits grammatically.
  4. Better development of executive functions and attentional tasks (with…)
  5. The emergence of different personality traits as a result of switching between two languages; opening up new worlds of global connection and understanding; flexibility in personal expression
TEXT THREE: KEY

  1. Whether Speaking more and more languages could help save you from Alzheimer’s disease
  2. An attention switching task; people bilingual since early childhood are better at high order thinking ( called executive function).
  3. Bilingual seniors’ brains are efficient.
  4. Having more reserve brain power
  5. Seeing if learning a second language in adulthood gives some protective benefit

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