Jim Cummins’s Theories of Bilingualism and Cognition

Re: Chapter Three
by Laura Willoughby – Monday, August 29, 2011, 06:43 AM
I wanted to share a little summary of Jim Cummins’s Theories of Bilingualism and Cognition.”Jim Cummin’s work falls within the cognitive approach to language, with its emphasis on the strengths the learner brings to the task of learning a second language.

-Separate or Common Underlying Proficiency: Cummins says that congitive and language fundamentals, once learned in primary language form a basis for subsequent learning in any language (common underlying proficiency).  Seperate is that the primary language is seperate and information from promary language does not transfer to second language.

-Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency: BICS-involves language skills and functions that allow students to communicate ineveryday social contexts that are similare to those of the homes as they perform classroom chores, chat with peers or consume instructional media as they do tv shows at home. Cummins called BICS context embedded because participants can provide feedback and the situation itself can further understandsing. CALP-the language needed to perform school tasks successfully. (abstract and decontextualized) Students must rely on language to attain meaning. Cummins called CALP context-reduced communication because there are few concrete cues to aid in comprehension.

BICS-involves the totality of communication that takes place between tow or more people in their everyday activities.

CALP-involves systemative thought process.  IT provides the brain with the necessary tools to systematically categorize, analyze, and accommodate new experiences, a cognitve toolboxp the in-depth knowledge that characterizes the wll-educated individual in a complex modern society.

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