Keynote Abstract

Putting the puzzle pieces of bilingual language learning together: Lessons from first-, second-, and bilingual language acquisition

Virginia C. Mueller Gathercole, Ph.D.

Florida International University

Thursday, February 7, 2018 – 5:00 pm*

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Recent research on language development in bilingual and multilingual children can provide rich sources of information concerning the nature of linguistic and cognitive skills and the processes of development in bilingual populations.  Language acquisition in normally developing bilingual and multilingual children is influenced by a multitude of interrelated factors, some external to the child (e.g., exposure), some internal (e.g., learned attention).  This talk will discuss such factors and the best explanations for the complex underlying mechanisms whereby bilinguals acquire their languages.  Ramifications and implications for practice, especially for program leaders, teachers, and families, will be laid out.  Best practices hinge crucially on an understanding of these mechanisms, which, in turn, can both allay often misplaced fears and, at the same time, guide us towards optimal ways forward.  

After our Welcome Keynote, please join us at the conference reception starting at 6:30 pm.

*Please note: our Welcome Keynote on Thursday evening and the evening reception are included in all full conference registrations ONLY.  If you do not register for the full conference, but want to attend Thursday evening keynote and reception, you must register for this option.  Keynote/Reception attendance fees: $50/person through January 16, 2019 then $75/seat as of January 17, 2019.  On-site registration for our Thursday keynote will be open as capacity allows.