Bilingual Acquisition: The early stages

In this session, we will discuss research that has examined the acquisition of two languages from birth to 5 years of age. The research will be organized around two main themes: Capacities and Influences.  Under Capacities, we will review research that has examined infants and toddlers from birth to 3 years of age in order to examine the neurocognitive processes that are available for learning two languages and the extent to which they are applied in the same or different  ways in comparison to monolingual acquisition. Under Influences, we will examine research that has examined factors that influence the expression of young learners' capacity for bilingual acquisition from 3 years of age onward. In particular, we will consider issues related to timing, amount, and quality of dual language input exposure as well as issues related to dual language learning among children with developmental disabilities, including Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Specific Language Impairment.