Self-determination and bilingualism

posted Feb 21, 2012, 10:54 AM by Essia Bernstein
By: Rodrigue Landry, Réal Allard and Kenneth Deveau

ABSTRACT: This article focuses on additive bilingualism for minority group children, more specifically the development of strong literacy skills in English and in the children's language. The personal autonomization language learning (PALL) model is presented. It specifies eight testable hypotheses. Self-determination theory (SDT) is central in the PALL model. It is argued that autonomy support in both languages is related to basic needs satisfaction (autonomy, competence, relatedness: ACR) which is in turn related to internally regulated motivation for learning the language. Owing to the strong social attraction of English, the model proposes that favouring the learning of the minority language and basic needs satisfaction in that language foster additive bilingualism because of the strong interlinguistic transfer of minority language competencies and of an internal motivational orientation. Self-determination to learn the minority language and minority literacy skills seems to transfer across languages. Research results support the model; these are summarized and educational implications are discussed. Full article available from: Theory and Research in Education July 2009 vol. 7 no. 2 203-213