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How do the unitary system and separate systems hypotheses influence bilingual language acquisition in children?

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The unitary and separate systems hypotheses are two different theories about the way language is acquired by children in a bilingual household. Naturally, children who grow up hearing two languages spoken frequently will develop an understanding of each of those languages. These theories differ, however, in whether or not there is a mother tongue and if the lexicons combine during the language acquisition.

In the unitary system, the child learns one grand, combined system of both languages—the lexicons are combined, and they will speak and reason in a conglomerate of the two languages. As they grow and their understanding of language increases, the two languages will separate themselves out through use. Also in the unitary system, there is a mother tongue, a more prominent language that is more frequently used.

In the separate system, the child will learn both languages distinctly, understanding the delineation between different sets of words and languages, and there is no need for...

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habshir75 | Student

In many unitary governments, such as Great Britain people are less inclined to acquire a second language as they don't seem to put much emphasis on it as they do in various European nations. Bilingual children are common because within these unitary nations, people immigrate to them and their children subsequently learn English and X language. The environment is also a great influence as children of immigrants who lack a community that is diverse won't view being bilingual as important.