We are very excited to share with you this latest issue of our Bilingualism Matters at Penn State newsletter. For the new readers out there, we are part of the international Bilingualism Matters Network, which translates scientific findings on multilingualism and linguistic diversity for general audiences, to promote informed decisions about things like raising and educating multilingual children. Our chapter operates out of the Center for Language Science at Penn State, which is home to a large interdisciplinary group of language researchers.
We think this newsletter issue is one of our most important yet. We chose to center it around the intersection of bilingualism and atypical development. With the rapidly growing numbers of bilingual children in our schools, it is increasingly important for educators and families to understand what typical bilingual development can look like, and to be able to distinguish a typical learning trajectory from an atypical one that requires intervention. Several innovative scientists, including some from our very own Bilingualism Matters chapter, are finding creative ways to do this. You can read more about this work in our two research summaries (on pages 3 and 6), along with some fun facts (p. 2) and some steps you can take to support bilingual learners in your community (p. 5). And you can check out page 7 for an interview with resident expert Dr. Chaleece Sandberg, to learn about a condition called aphasia, and what it can teach us about language.
As always, we encourage you to reach out to us with your questions and comments. We are always on the lookout for topics and themes that will be interesting and useful to you, so please get in touch and tell us what you’d like to learn more about!
The Editors: Frances Blanchette, Tiana Cowan, Amanda Eads, Carla Fernandez, Daisy Lei, Marissa Scotto, Brittany Williams, Anya Yu