Studying the input in bilingual acquisition: methodological and theoretical considerations and implications

Recently there has been a surge in research interest in the input that bilingual children receive. In addition, many publications on early bilingual development provide measures of the input that children receive as background information. However, the complexity and the dynamic nature of the bilingual input setting are often ignored.

This presentation discusses a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives on the relation between bilingual children's two input languages mainly on the basis of the author's survey work involving close to 2,000 multilingual families and of her longitudinal study of the language input to 31 bilingual children. Implications for collecting data in bilingual settings and appropriate characterizations of the bilingual input are discussed.