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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Mixed Language Policy: An alternative to the one-person-one-language policy for a child with bilingual caregivers Add Dissertation
Author: Hazel See Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: National University of Singapore, MA and PhD in English Language and Linguistics
Completed in: 2003
Linguistic Subfield(s): Sociolinguistics; Language Acquisition;
Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin
Director(s): Madalena Cruz-Ferreira

Abstract: This thesis is an exploratory case study of the mixed language policy (MLP) as a viable alternative to the one-person-one-language policy (OPOLP). Through a comparative analysis of the English language proficiency of a MLP vs. a OPOLP child using two frameworks of analysis, namely, Halliday's (1975) language functions development, and Klima and Bellugi's (1966) development of question-forms, no significant differences were identified between the two children.

Despite previous negative evaluations of the MLP based on scant and unsystematic research evidence, this systematic case study revealed its ability in producing a high degree of early language differentiation.

The MLP child in this study is an unbalanced bilingual, in favour of English. This is more likely to be related to the emphasis and support of English in Singapore's context, and to a lower amount of exposure to Mandarin, rather than the failure of the policy per se. Additionally, caregivers report a high ease of use of the MLP, as well as a high confidence in its success.

Overall, this suggests that the MLP is a viable option, and further research using larger sample sizes will aid in determining its generalizability.