Subtractive Bilingualism, Underlying Bilingualism And The Thresholds Theory

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These include the Transitional Model, Subtractive Bilingualism, Additive Bilingualism, the Separate Underlying Proficiency (SUP) Model, the Common Underlying Proficiency (CUP) Model, the Thresholds Theory, and the Developmental Interdependence Hypothesis. The models show the relationship between a language learner’s L1 and the language being learnt (L2). In the Transitional Model, learners are temporarily allowed to keep their L1 before being shifted to the dominant (official) language. They will only be moved to the second language when they are thought to be adequately proficient in it (Cummins, cited in Baker, 2006). The aim is to increase the use of the dominant language (L2), while proportionately reducing the use of the L1 (Villarreal,…show more content…
Also, in subtractive bilingualism, ‘the bilingual feels that the second language is the cause of some loss with respect to the first’ (Malmkjaer, 1991:58). In the model, learners are moved away from the mother tongue as soon as possible. This may occur when the second language and culture are acquired so as to replace or demote the first language and culture (Ndamba, 2013). Additive Bilingualism promotes the development of both the L1 and the L2 and encourages the users’ flexibility in them (Baker, 2006). In additive bilingualism, the bilingual ‘feels enriched socially and cognitively by an additional language’ (Malmkjaer, 1991:58). The addition of a second language or culture is unlikely to replace or displace the L1 and its culture. Also, the L1 is not dispensed with as the language of instruction (Baker,…show more content…
Also in support of the Bilingual Approach, Brown (2000:68) says the first language ‘can be a facilitating factor not just an interfering factor.’ Brown is here alluding to the issue of language transfer, which is defined by Odlin (1993:27) as ‘the influence resulting from similarities and differences between the target language and any other language that has been previously (and perhaps imperfectly) acquired.’ The facilitating factor (Brown, 2000) is what is referred to as positive transfer, or a situation where similarities between the L1 and the L2 can facilitate learning. Positive transfer is also defined by Nunan (2000) as the use of the rules that coincide in both the L1 and the L2 and the learners using the L1 rules to benefit from learning the L2. The interfering factor (Brown, 2000) refers to negative transfer, or the use of L1rules in the learning of an L2 although such rules do not exist in the L2 (Nunan, 2000). Dulay and Burt (cited in Maniam, 2010), refer to negative transfer as interference, which they define as automatic transfer, due to habit, of the surface structure of the L1 on the surface structure of the L2. In apparent reference to the notion of negative transfer,

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