Date of Award

Spring 3-23-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Thesis

Department

Communications

First Advisor

Suzanne Reading

Abstract

Multiple language acquisition has only recently become a heavily researched and focused topic. Many questions have been left unanswered and furthermore, experts in the field are coming to contradicting results and conclusions. The presented thesis investigates the culmination of recent research in this newly developed field, as well as provides feedback from bilingual individuals on their experiences of being bilingual. Through analyzing current studies, the conclusion is made that bilingual children will follow a series of stages in their semantic and syntactic acquisition in which there is a bilingual disadvantage, followed by a bilingual advantage, and lastly a continuous stage of neutrality between bilingual children and their monolingual peers. This theory combined with the positive social effects of bilingualism seen through results of the survey, encourage education systems to take responsibility in teaching children to be proficient in two languages. 3