Definition ...

Bilingualism can relate to phenomena concerning :

  • an individual who knows two languages;
  • a community where two languages are used.

This theory consists in the ability to speak and think without difficulty in two languages at the same degree of precision in each. The truly bilingual individuals are impregnated either of the two cultures and in all areas. Bilingualism is the simplest form of multilingualism, which opposes monolingualism (speaking a language only).

History ...

For a long time bilingualism has been deprecated in favor of monolingualism dominant (in France and the United States for example). Many ideas were circulating on the fact that the child had fewer skills in both languages, even his "mother" language. An American researcher has even tried to prove that he was simply less "intelligent" than monolinguals. Indeed, it had assessed the children of immigrants who arrived shortly before skills in the United States and had "measured" skills in English only language children just discovering.

Since many people defend bilingualism. Indeed, it appears as a solution to the disappearance of languages. It is known that 90% of languages are currently threatened with extinction by the end of this century [ref. required]. Such a perspective is an ever met depletion in the history of mankind. The institution of bilingualism in areas where there are endangered languages is a way to preserve this endangered language heritage, which is part of the cultural heritage of humanity.


Bilingual education: an asset for the child !

vidéo enseignement bilingue : un atout pour l'enfant

The documentary "When Bilingualism opens doors" is for sale !

brochure : quand le bilinguisme ouvre des portes

The film "When Bilingualism opens doors", directed by Anne Jochum and co-produced by British Culture Diversity / Sevenadurioù with "tomorrow's prepare" productions and in partnership with Div Yezh, is for sale. You can get it from BCD / Sevenadurioù the price of 12 € (add € 7 postage) only for individuals, for it please contact us. For associations or structures, contact Préparons demain productions.

What is bilingualism? Today, while half the planet lives in a universe bilingual (or multilingual) educate his child in this reality always raises questions. How to share a language with a child ? How does the child structure the arrival of his two languages? Can there be confusion ? Why did he not respond in the language in question ? And at school, in a bilingual class, can the child cope if the parents do not speak this language ? Why send him a language he does not perhaps served daily ? Is there heart languages ?

The psycholinguist, François Grosjean, made us a valuable light on the many questions surrounding the reality of bilingual families. His interventions, alternated with those of the sociologist Ronan Le Coadic and parents with different profiles and backgrounds (Turkish, Madagascar, Breton, Portuguese ...) allow us to understand better how the child is organized to manage so these different information.

Speakers :

- François Grosjean, Professor Emeritus in Psycholinguisme, Neuchâtel University
- Ronan Le Coadic, Sociologist, Professor of Culture and Breton language, Rennes 2
- Armelle Le Coz, Director of school, Breton / French Plomeur
- Guillaume Morvan, Breton / French Teacher, Saint-Brieuc
- Yannig Robin, child care worker, causing Divskouarn

Bonus :

- Interview  surrounding bilingualism myths
- Interview about the approach one person / one language
- Interview on cognitive contributions related to bilingualism
- "Remi, story of a Breton-parent"
- "Katell and Tangi, testimony to the grandparents"
- "Katell and Tangi testimony on the transmission to children"

Early bilingualism : Interview with Pascale PLANCHE

Pascale Planche is Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Western Brittany.

What is bilingualism ?
Being bilingual means being able to regularly use two languages in daily life. Bilingualism also refers to the ability of an individual to use two languages with sufficient phonetic correction, so not necessarily perfect, to remove any obstacle to the understanding of what is said, and a Master of vocabulary and grammatical structures comparable to those of a native of the same social and cultural environment. It is a definition that was given in 1990 by Elizabeth Deshays (bilingual child speak two languages, a chance for your child; Laffont, 1970). We must not forget the cultural and social level, as the level of language may be different for different people.

Is provided that one is "better" in one language than the other ?
Absolutely, and this is why it Bilingualism is "unbalanced" most often. It is found in bilingualism or multilingualism, different language skills. And this for several reasons: cognitive reasons, it is better to master a language the other hand cognitive functioning; practical reasons because perhaps we will use a language more than the other; the conative aspects, ie emotional and motivational, can also generate preferences for one language.

And so what that early bilingualism ?
There are different types of bilingualism. Early bilingualism is the one that is most favorable to the bilingual development. We distinguish simultaneous early bilingualism, ie that the two languages were built at the same time in very young children. And the subsequent early bilingualism when the young child was confronted successively both languages.
Simultaneous early bilingualism in the case of a child born in an environment where the dad and mom are from different backgrounds and speak different languages to children from birth. The child is going to build together these two languages, it then has two "mother tongues".
In the case of successive early bilingualism, the young child is born in a monolingual environment, but it will be confronted early on learning a second language because their parents choose to enroll in a bilingual environment or because they settle in a country that confronts the family to learning a new language.

In all cases, the introduction of the second language must occur before the age of 5 years that we can evoke an early bilingualism.

Bilingualism private education is committed - Brittany

comité académique de l'eneignement catholique

The academic committee of Catholic teaching and Dihun Breizh of parents have signed an agreement to develop the French-Breton chain.

Of the 14,709 French-Breton bilingual students, Catholic education in schooling for 4824, from kindergarten to the tray. Making it the second network behind the public (6,260 students) and ahead Diwan (3678). Since 1991, the opening of the first class, the parents of the private sector gathered within local associations, Dihun and a regional association including Loire-Atlantique, Dihun Breizh.

In recent years, relations between representatives of parents and representatives of the institution (diocesan departments of Catholic Education) have often been complicated until the breakdown of dialogue in certain departments, or in respect of educational differences.

Buried feuds

These tensions thing of the past, we are assured of both sides. The Academic Committee for Catholic Education and Dihun Breizh have in fact just signed a partnership agreement by which "the Catholic teaching of Brittany part of its educational policy the development of regional languages," as Breton Gallese. All components of Catholic teaching, diocesan directions, the Catholic University of the West, the Higher Institute of Training ISFEC and associations of parents (APEL) were involved in the preparation of this charter.

New classes

If the Catholic Education officially recognizes a single representative association of all parents (APEL) she now widely Dihun Breizh true partner status to "facilitate the development of teaching Breton participate in the enhancement of bilingual courses and relay information for the recruitment of teachers ".

Jakez of Poulpiquet, vice president of Dihun Breizh like Stéphane Gouraud, diocesan director of Morbihan, chairman of the steering committee of regional languages, salute both "serene and constructive dialogue" and set up. An agreement supported by the Region. "A new era begins for Breton in Catholic teaching," says Lena Louarn, Vice President of the Region in charge of regional languages. After opening six more classes in September (a record), opening new files are being considered for the 2013 school year.

Jean-Laurent BRAS.


The family adventure of bilingualism

l'aventure familiale du bilinguisme
Many children, from an early age, learning to speak several languages. But to become completely bilingual, their parents must be motivated to invest in the long term.

«Victor, come here please, it’s time to go home.» The square, the English nannies are no longer an exception. From a young age, some French children are absorbing the language of Shakespeare or attending English workshops available from 12 months.

Moreover, it has become quite common for a primary class serves students from a double culture. On leaving school, we hear them speak a foreign language with their father and / or mother. As Gustav, 4 and a half years, Swedish and Polish origin, educated in a Parisian public school. "My husband speaks to her Swedish, Polish I speak to him, obviously. Our son, who is very talkative, spoke both languages before his 2 years as an adult. French is his third language, "says admiringly, Agnieszka, 38, in France for fifteen years.

Information brochure  about bilingual courses

plaquette d'information sur les filières bilingues