An Asset or a Liability?
For this assignment, compile arguments in response to the question:
Is being bilingual an asset or a liability?
1. Begin by revisiting the assigned articles, textbook chapters and lectures to compile as many positives and negatives related to bilingualism as possible.
2. Next, populate the four cells in the table below with your findings (bullet points are OK):
Factors related to bilingualism Cognitive factors Social factors
3. In the next step, write a thesis statement for your paper which reflects your position in response to the main question and allows a peek into your argumentation:
This is a brainstorm for the research paper.
Please have this by 10/22 before 12 noon
Being Bilingual: An Asset or a Liability?
Until about the 1960s, the conventional wisdom was that bilingualism was a disadvantage. Imagine being asked
by your friends or relatives, upon hearing that you are taking this class, whether bilingualism was bad or good
for their children.
In this research paper, respond to the prompt below:
Is being bilingual an asset or a liability, especially in the US context?
Begin by defining bilingualism. Then, explain cognitive aspects of bilingualism. Is the process of adding
an additional language mainly beneficial or mainly harmful to the mental processes? Next, consider the
social aspects of being bilingual. Is there a stigma attached to bilingual speakers in the American society?
Include examples from sources you read and/or heard in our class discussions or from your personal
experience (i.e., the interview you conducted). Conclude by making recommendations to your friends.
Process stages for this assignment:
1. Read the assigned articles (Bialystok, Wei, Garcia) and re-read the textbook chapters.
2. Analyze the arguments for and against bilingualism
3. Take a position on the issue, write a thesis statement (one-sentence summary to the overall question),
and have it peer-critiqued
4. Write a rough draft; invite out-of-class peer review
5. Submit the final product; expect feedback
6. Discuss revision strategies with me; revise and include in the e-portfolio
Your role and audience:
Effective writers are able to place themselves into their reader’s mind and anticipate possible questions. In
writing this essay, imagine that you are writing to someone who knows less about this topic than you and who,
for example, is not aware of the press reports on the most recent developments in neuroscience. Therefore, give
your reader necessary context or background information throughout the essay to help him/her follow your
The essay should be 4 pages long and should have a title. Check the syllabus for how to format this
The essay will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
• Accurate understanding of the concepts and fulfillment of the assignment
• Analysis and development
• Organization and coherence
• Awareness of audience and use of appropriate tone
• Overall clarity of language
APA REFERENCING –THE BASICS
There are several systems currently used in academic writing to document a source. The two most widely used
are the style of the Modern Languages Association (MLA) and that of the American Psychological Association
(APA). The latter is described here.
Introduction to APA Style
APA style is a style described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Why Use APA Style?
? It provides a consistent format in your work.
? It allows you to communicate in a familiar and accepted way
? It protects you against plagiarism
? It allows readers to cross-reference your sources
? It gives you credibility as an academic writer. A good writer is a good editor
Who Uses APA Style?
APA style is used in many disciplines such as education, psychology, anthropology, sociology, business,
economics, nursing, social work, linguistics, and criminology.
What do professors mean when they say write in “APA style”?
They may or may not mean writing style for the content of your paper. They may, even more specifically, be
referring to the system of citations in text and reference format that APA uses (this is what we are focusing on
today). When in doubt, check with your professor.
“IN TEXT” versus “REFERENCE LIST” citations
REFERENCE CITATIONS IN TEXT (10 sources)
You need to cite a reference when you are quoting, summarizing, or paraphrasing. The citation will refer the
reader to the list of sources at the end of the text (i.e., the reference list).
The basic format for citations in text is to give the author surname, year of publication, and, when citing, the
page number. For subsequent references to the same study within the same paragraph, you do not need to
repeat the year.
Wei (2007) provides a clear contrast between bilinguals and monolinguals.
The bilinguals have a heightened ability to monitor the environment (Bialystok, 2009).
Caruth (1996) states that a traumatic response frequently entails a “delayed, uncontrolled repetitive
appearance of hallucinations and other intrusive phenomena” (p. 11).
A traumatic response frequently entails a “delayed, uncontrolled repetitive appearance of
hallucinations and other intrusive phenomena” (Caruth, 1996, p. 11).
When a work has two authors, always cite both names every time the reference occurs in text. Note: “and” is
used in text, and “&” if the citation is within parentheses.
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