top of page


What is Bilingualism?


Bilingualism is when an individual uses at least two languages. Most of the time, children and adults are proficient in two languages but the proficiency can vary depending on how exposed people are to those and other languages.

In bilingualism, there are two ways in which a person develops another language.


  • Simultaneous bilingualism is when the child is exposed to their native language as well as the second language at the same time.

  • Sequential bilingualism is when a child speaks, reads, and writes in their native language -- usually at three years old -- and they start learning the other language after they had perfected their first.


Normal Processes of Second Language Acquisition


  1. Interference: When a process of one language carries over to the second language. There have been researchers that argue that many times, people who are learning a second language, carry over characteristics of their first language.

  2. Fossilization: This term refers to when a person is already good with the second language, but there are a few “errors” that continue to stay.

  3. Interlanguage: This term is described as a language having the features of two different languages

  4. Silent Period: This silent period is when the child is exposed to a second language for the first time and they just stay quiet and listen. The younger the child, the longer the silence.

  5. Code-switching: when a person is able to say a sentence including both languages in it. For example, “My friend gave me un hermoso ramo de flores, and I love it!” which translates to (“My friend gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and I love it!”).

  6. Language Loss: when a person starts to lose their native language for the second language also called called subtractive bilingualism.

bottom of page