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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Query Details


Query Subject:   Bi/Multilingualism and Specific Genres of Writing
Author:   Deborah Chua
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Applied Linguistics
Discourse Analysis

Query:   Dear LINGUIST List subscribers,

I have a question which I was wondering if anyone could help me with.

Would anyone know of any studies that empricially examine
bi/multilingualism in relation to specific genres of writing (e.g. narrative
writing, expository/academic writing, etc.)?

Most studies on multilingualism, I notice, are on spoken language or
specific linguistic features. Then there are also those that look at how
literacy development (i.e. reading and writing in its most general sense,
like orthograhy, etc.) in young children can be helped or hindered by
developing that literacy in more than one language, aka multilingually.
There are also many studies, most of which are not directly centred on
multilingualism or do not even mention the term, 'multiligualism,' in their
discourse, but which make speculative claims about problems faced in
say, academic writing, to English not being the first language of its
writer or to interference from the writer's 'other' language(s).

But I do not seem to be able to find any research that empirically
examines bi/multilingualism in relation to a particular genre of writing? If
anyone knows of any such studies, I would appreciate any references,
because I'm interested to know how previous research along this line
was undertaken, i.e. presuming that there is previous research along
this line?

Many thanks in advance.

Deborah Chua
LL Issue: 21.2328
Date posted: 24-May-2010



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