De Threshold Hypothese en de Developmental Interdependence Hypothese: waar of onwaar? Moet het Nederlandse tweetalig onderwijs volgens deze hypothesen opgezet worden? Een literatuuronderzoek
MetadataShow full item record
Lately bilingual education is often the subject of conversation. Should children be exposed to a second language in school as early as possible? Or would that restrain their linguistic development in their first language? James Cummins has conducted a lot of research about bilingual education. He claims that children should develop academic skills in their L1 first, and because of an underlying mechanism these academic skills are then transferable to their L2. His claim is the basis of both his hypotheses: The Developmental Interdependence Hypothesis and the Threshold Hypothesis. In this master’s thesis a literature study was conducted, which investigated the possible evidence for these hypotheses. This literature study shows that there is much support for the two hypotheses devised by Cummins. This means that convincing evidence was found that Cummins’ hypotheses are true. Furthermore, it was investigated whether bilingualism improves cognitive and academic development. Various recent literature shows that bilingualism (especially early bilingualism) contributes to the development of academic and cognitive skills. This implicates that children should receive bilingual education from very early on. This should improve their academic skills, and consequently improve their learning abilities. In this thesis was also examined to what extend bilingual education in The Netherlands is established in accordance with both Cummins’ hypotheses. It seems Dutch bilingual education usually starts too late for academic skills to be transferable: usually bilingual education is only provided in high school. By then it is almost impossible for the students to develop a native-like level of competence in the second language. The introduction of early bilingual education in primary school in twelve pilot studies is a significant step in the right direction. Further research must show whether this type of bilingual education is indeed more successful regarding academic achievement, linguistic development and learning abilities.