Essay on Reaction On Teaching For Transfer

907 Words Oct 7th, 2015 4 Pages
Reaction on Teaching for Transfer: Challenging the Two Solitudes Assumption in Bilingual Education
Cummins (2008) discusses the research and theoretical literature concerning the “two solitudes” assumption in regards to the mediums of instruction dominant in second language teaching and bilingual education programs. He argues that this assumption has minimal research basis. The “two solitudes” assumption is rooted in the direct method, which imitated the way children learn their first language by using the target language as the medium of instruction and avoiding translation. The works of Cook (2001) and Turnbull (2001) are presented as thresholds for the establishment of empirical and theoretical basis for the choice of medium of instruction in L2 instruction. Turnbbull (2001) as cited in Cummins (2008) points out disadvantages of relying too much on L1 in second and foreign language teaching. I have seen this in the field and it not only happens when the teacher is not fluent in L2 like Turnbull explains. Very often, teachers have a deficit of the necessary skills and knowledge on second language acquisition. In these cases, it becomes challenging to incorporate L2 into instruction particularly when students are at the early stages of L2 acquisition. Moreover, even when teachers acknowledge the benefits of using L1 in L2 instruction, they still have difficulties during implementation. This often results in the discouragement or restriction of L1 usage in the classroom…

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