Begetting Bilingual Babes
Begetting Bilingual BabesExploring the effects of media on an adolescents learning of languagesRyan D. Giviens
Effective language learning requires real-time interpersonal interactions.Jim, a boy at almost the age of four, has trouble developing his language skills. His parents are both deaf but his hearing ability is fully functional. He has no verbal communication at home in English or ASL; this hinders his language skills.Media may compliment, but not take the place of interpersonal language learning.Holly employs the use of multiple childrens language development DVDs to help her son, Nick, learn from the age of three months. From her observations, the media does not teach her child much. Rather, it encourages her to utilize similar methods in person to teach Nick.
Language Learning: Do the rules apply across differing classes?
Songbirds, like humans, require a tutor to learn their languages.White-Crowned Sparrows learn by mimicking anothers sound and learn even faster when that sound is complimented by visual mimicry. As fledglings, Zebra Finches cannot learn at all without direct haptic communication and close proxemics to others of their kind.www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/05/songbirdculture/
Babies possess the ability to distinguish a variety of phonemes, which adults cannot. This enables them to more easily learn languages.Language DVDs sometimes lack in perfected education methods.Audio and video components may not match upSpeakers may not sound native to the languageWords may be presented without gender articles
Guernsey, L. (2012). Screen Time. New York: Basic Books.
Even in a Controlled StudyReal-Time InterpersonalAfter 12 sessions of 25 minutes over the course of 4 weeks, 32 babies were able to recognize two Chinese Mandarin phonemes that equally studied babies in an English control group could not.Recorded Mass MediaAfter 12 sessions of 25 minutes over the course of 4 weeks, 32 babies were NOT able to recognize any Chinese Mandarin phonemes when exposed to either audio or audio-visual representations of a tutor.
Questions for Critical AnalysisGuernsey uses evidence to stress the necessity of interpersonal interaction with any individual, particularly when it comes to language learning. However, her book does not provide an equal amount of research to prove certain forms of media cannot provide the same education. Use your own experiences with digital language media as well as observations you have made of children and their use of similar tools to provide evidence that both supports and refutes Guernseys claim.Consider your experience in the field of Communication and/or Media Studies both in the classroom and in your personal life. What forms of communication and its tools [i.e. haptics, complementing, supplementing, proxemics] do you find most effective in interpersonal communication? What about in the media? Certain methods work better in different areas of communication and for different types of messages.What can you infer about the differences between using media language tools as an adolescent and using them at a much older age?