Which type of bilingual are you?

Do you remember how you acquired your second language? Was it during your childhood or in your adult years? Did you know that the way you acquire your second language can determine which bilingual category you belong to? In general, bilinguals can be seperated into three categories. If you would like to find out which category you belong to, read on!

Which type of bilingual are you?

1. Compound bilingual 

Compound bilinguals develop two linguistic codes simultaneously, as they process the world around them. You are a compound bilingual if you acquired a new language, in your early childhood, at the same time as when you were learning your native language.

2. Coordinate bilingual

You are categorised as a coordinate bilingual, if you learnt a new language after you were fluent in your mother language. In this case, the brain works with two very separate sets of concepts. For example, you already speak one language at home with your parents but are learning another one at school, which you speak with your friends.

3. Subordinate bilingual

You are a subordinate bilingual if you have learnt a new language as an adult. You learn the language by filtering it through your native language and is basically acquired by translating it. Research shows that people who learnt an additional language in their adulthood, exhibit a less emotional bias when tackling problems and are more rational, in the new language rather than their native language.

Conversely, when the new language is acquired in early childhood, recent research shows that people have a holistic grasp of its emotional and social contexts.

Now that you are familiar with the three categories, which one would you say you belong to?

Leave a comment below, I would love to see how many of you found this interesting!

Till next time..


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