Friday, December 7, 2012

2nd BATXILLERAT - ARE YOU BILINGUAL?

From News.D

Read this article about bilingualism written by Jessica Marshall. Then you can drop a comment considering the following questions:

Can the things the author says apply to our country?
Are you an example of any of the cases discussed in the article?
Are you bilingual or monolingual? Do you feel you have an advantage over the counterpart?

Remember that you don't have to answer the questions one by one. In fact, they are a guideline for your comment.

41 comments:

  1. The things that the author says can be applied to my country but not at all. For example, here in Catalonia we talk two languages that are a little similar and that’s not exactly what the author says, that can be truth if the languages that are in a country are completely different.

    I think I’m not an example of the cases in the article because I speak Spanish the most part of the time, I only use the catalan in the school and to talk to Catalan people. But I don’t think that I’m monolingual because I can speak in English, French and Catalan instead of Spanish to other people.

    I agree what the author says because talk other languages make you learn something about other cultures and sometimes know about the lifestyle of people that talk that language because there are words that only are used in one language to say something that people of the country where they talk it use to do.

    In conclusion I think that bilinguals is a very important advantage.

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  2. I think that the arguments defended by the author on bilingualism are, maybe, applied to my country, but like Sergi says, not entirely. He put the example of Catalonia with Catalan and Spanish, which are slightly similar, but the example of Euskadi with Euskera and Spanish is clearer.

    I’m an example of the cases in the article because I speak both Catalan and Spanish, but I don’t think that I have less vocabulary in any two languages like it says. I speak, too, French, a bit of English and I started to learn German this year.

    For that I feel that I have an advantage for being bilingual, because each language is a way of thinking, a culture and a door which is open for learn new things of other people and his lifestyle.


    Mireia Malcampo, 2nd Batxillerat A

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  3. I found this article very interesting. Our country, Spain, is a multilingual country, and it means that this is a territory where people speak several languages. The majority of the spaniards speak two languages, excluding some autonomous regions, such Madrid, where there isn't a second language. In Catalonia, for example, we've got two main languages, Spanish and Catalan. So, Catalonia is a bilingual region, or country, it doesn't matter. Another example of bilingual place is the Basque Country, a region where most people speak, or at least know, Spanish and Basque. Therefore, Spain is a very good example of bilingualism.
    I live in Catalonia, and I know and speak Spanish and Catalan, both equally well, so I am bilingual. I have been learning English since I was a child, consequently, I can't appreciate the negative collateral effect of bilingualism that Jessica Marshall explains in her article, whereby bilinguals have more "tip-of-the-tongue" problems. She also explains another collateral effect: bilinguals have got less vocabulary in every language than monolingual people. Notwithstanding, she clarify something: this negative effect is not something to be worry about, and the positive effects are more important. If we compare all the positive effects with the negative effects, clearly we will see that being bilingual is still something good.
    The benefits that bilingualism produces in Alzheimer patients are a very interesting information; any discovery that helps in the fight against Alzheimer is very good and this relation between bilingualism and Alzheimer must be studied and investigated in order to know more about this disease and in this way find more therapeutical treatments.
    In conclusion, as a bilingual I feel I have several advantages. Actually, only the fact of knowing another language is an advantage, and after reading Jessica Marshall's article, I realized I am fortunate for being bilingual.

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  4. Yes, Jesús, we are lucky to speak more than one language but unfortunately there's still a lot of people who do not understand this.

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  5. In my opinion be bilingual is better and useful than be monolingual. I think it’s true that monolinguals know more words of his language than other who speak two or more languages, but in general, one person who is bilingual knows more words with two languages.
    The article said something very interesting, that the bilingualism helps you for not developing Alzheimer and for having an activate brain. In my country exist the bilingualism, what’s more, I’m bilingual and I’m grateful and proud of it because without them I won’t have the same brain capacity or agility as said in the article.


    Pablo Rodríguez 2Bat. A

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  6. In my opinion, at the moment it’s impossible to apply all of thinks that the author says in this article in my country. In Spain, there are a lot of secondary schools with a lot of teachers, but all of these teachers don’t know other languages. It’s also true that there are more teachers that don’t speak English or Catalan, for example, and that it’s the first mistake because in lot of schools don’t speak more languages and there aren’t bilingualism, except in Catalonia where there are teachers who know to speak Catalan and Spanish.

    In conclusion, I agree with my mate Sergi Canela, bilingualism is a very important advantage, because you can learn a new thing and a new culture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Albert, when you say "all of these teachers don't know other languages", do you mean that "NOT al these teachers know other languages"?

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  7. I think that what the article sais could be applicated to my country or regiln because in Catalonia there are two lenguages: catalan and spanish and I'm from Catalonia I can speak both lenguages. I also can comunicate in English basically, so I considerer myself bilingue more than multilingual.
    The author says that bilingual peolple take some milliseconds to get the right word in the right lenguage and also they have more `tip-of-the-tongue' problems.
    I agree with this estatament because i feel identified and some people will feel too.
    I think that being bilingual it is more advantageous than disadvantageous because when you learn other lenguaje you can comunicate with other people, you can find job in foreing countries and you learn about new cultures, new custumes and also meet new people. However for some people, including me, learn a new lenguaje could be difficult.

    Claudia Pavón
    2 batxillerat A

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  8. In my opinion being bilingual is good because, being bilingual can think more concepts, have greater mental agility, understand other cultures and communicate with more people as well as opening opportunities in the workplace.
    I have the good fortune to live in Catalonia where schools are bilingual thing that helps get interested in other languages ​​and cultures.

    Aida Subirà
    2 batxillerat A

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  9. In Catalonia, most of the people thinks that they're bilingual, but in fact a bilingual person is that who dominates two languages perfectly at the same level. In Catalonia we know at least two languages, Catalan and Spanish, and most of the people use one more than the other. This is called "diglossia", but not bilingualism.
    Of course i'm not an example of bilingualism as it's described in the text. In fact, I always speak Spanish because it's my first language. I rarley speak catalan. Furthermore I think that I speak a little more English than Catalan.
    But apart from this, I'm sure that being bilingual would be fantastic because as the text says bilingual people with Alzheimer have less problems.

    Alberto Moragrega
    2 Batx A

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    Replies
    1. Alberto, I don't think you are using the term "diglossia" adequately. According to the Oxford dictionary, diglossia is "a situation in which two languages are used under different conditions within a community, often by the same speakers".
      I think that "diglossia" means that one of the two languages is not spoken in the same conditions (of equality) as the other one. Is this true in Catalonia?

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    2. Yes that was what I was trying to say. Diglossia is my example. I always speak Spanish, but in differents situations like when i'm speaking with a person who is talking to me in catalan I speak catalan. That doesn't mean that I hate Catalan, in fact, there are things that I prefer in catalan, like some TV programs or series. I think that this is true in the most part of Catalonia because being bilingual is very very difficult and it's normal to use one language more than the other one.

      Alberto Moragrega
      2 Batx A

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  10. Referring to what Jesús said, I agree that Spain is a rich country for having more than one, two and three languages. I understand language as culture, so I can not understand why those persons that Agusti said do not appreciate having more than one language. Currently, despite of having some regions that are more than one language official, these languages are not spoken in the same level so I agree with Alberto when saying that in Catalonia Spanish is more spoken than Catalan (so we speak Spanish better than Catalan, at least some people do).
    I think I am not bilingual but I know well at least two languages. I can speak Catalan and Spanish correctly, but I would always try to speak in Spanish, in the case I could, because I can express myself better than if I did in Catalan. Of course I could try to do it in English, but it is a foreign language (so it would make me a bit odd for speaking it to a seller, for example).
    About the advantages of bilingualism, in my opinion it is a good way to enhance our mind making us cleverer than we are nowadays. I agree with the article that says being bilingual enhance executive function.

    Alberto Gonzalez
    2 BAT A

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Alberto. I'm afraid you're right when you say that most Catalans speak better Spanish than Catalan. Call it paradox or call it disglossia. Whatever it is, it gives me some sense of apartheit which is always sad. All languages are treasures and all, absolutely all of them, must be preserved as long as it's possible. Unfortunately, politicians are going to be decissive in this respect, aren't they?

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    2. Any language should disappear, but you have said it. Politicians make the wrong decissions, Wert want to "spanishize" us (or whatever it is called, he wants us to study in spanish, like if we didn't on these days)

      Delete
  11. I believe that all the people can be a bilingual person. It's better and useful than be monolingual. I’m also an example of the cases in the article because I speak Catalan in my home with my family, but I speak both Catalan and Spanish, and I don’t believe that I have less vocabulary in any two languages like it says.
    Then I'm proud to be catalan and I feel that I have an advantage for being bilingual, because each language is like a country, is a way of thinking, a culture and a road to learn new things and in this way we can grow like a person and maybe, we'll know more people in this life.
    Generally, in my opinion is very important to know the maximum possible languages.

    Jordi Alemany Bartomeu
    2n Bat A

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    Replies
    1. There is a great sentence in your comment, Jordi: EACH LANGUAGE IS LIKE A COUNTRY. I would like to add, a country with its own landscapes and particularities. Perhaps some day everyone will understand it!!

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  12. I have agreed with this article in most of its points. It explains the cognitive and social benefits, but doesn't say explicitly which I think is the best thing of being bilingual. Knowing a language is always a richness, so I believe that we the bilinguals are lucky. By speaking two (or even more) languages since childhood we can enter and know different ways to understand the world. Every language deserves to be spoken, because it says a lot about a culture and a mentality. In my opinion it's the worth of knowing languages, and people should be encouraged to learn them because it's priceless to go abroad and communicate with the locals. I believe we cannot let any language die, because if a language dies also does an entire mentality and culture. We should take care of languages.
    And about the disadvantage of being bilingual, I think that it doesn't matter because we can improve our vocabulary easily by reading, talking, seeing movies or whatever that involves using them.

    Irene Cuxart Sánchez
    2n Bat. A

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  13. Nowadays be bilingual is not an option is very useful for get a job everywhere . In Catalonia we are lucky to have two parental languages ( Catalan/Spanish ) . Here we got four languages ( Catalan, Spanish, Basque and Galician ) in other countries they dont have this advantage to have a lot of languages . Knowing a foreign languages let you the possibility to travel around the world and get a lot of new experiences like the people who goes to " Erasmus " in university .
    Be bilingual is a cultural reason for myself . In conclusion, like Jordi said: knowing the maximum languages posible is very important .

    Dani Marquez
    2n Bat B

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  14. Here, in Catalonia, there are two languages: Spanish and Catalan, and I speak these two languages. I think that know two or more languages is and advantage because is a way to open your mind: when you know a new language, you know the culture and this is very good. But isn’t more easy to learn other languages if you are bilingual, at least for me (I have the same difficult than the other person who isn’t bilingual). I don’t know if be bilingual is better than monolingual, but is true that the languages open doors, and in this moment, if you don’t know and mastering two or more languages internationals, you can’t do anything.

    Maria Villarejo
    2n Bat A

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  15. After being read this article I can say that in my country the population speaks, at least, two languages that are Catalan and Spanish. Many kids since they are children are taught to control and dominate perfectly both languages. I don’t agree with the author that says that monolingual people have more vocabulary than those who are bilingual. I think it is better to know speak in at least two languages properly than speak only one regardless how much vocabulary they know. Concerning to me, I have to say that I’m bilingual because I can speak perfectly Catalan and Spanish and I’m on the process of adding English and French as languages that I can control without any difficulty. I don’t feel an example of one of the case discussed in the article, I mean, I can speak Catalan and Spanish and hardly ever I have had problems concerning vocabulary. What it is true is that both languages are very rich in grammar and vocabulary and the knowledge of every single word would be almost impossible. Therefore, even you are monolingual you won’t never know all the words of the dictionary and I think it’s better to know more than one language because, as say in the article , you have less probabilities to have Alzheimer disease. Bilinguals are able to keep function those areas of the brain that are starting to be destroyed.
    Personally I think that there are many more advantages than disadvantages the simple fact of be bilingual or multilingual.

    Cristina Muñoz
    2nd BAT B

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  16. I think if that can be applied to our country, as Spain has multiple languages​​, Castilian, Catalan, Basque ... I live in Catalonia and I can speak in Catalan and Castilian, and I consider myself an example of bilingualism, like the text, and I can speak, think, write ... with equal fluency in both languages​​, I think that's an advantage because it also helps to learn more languages ​​in the future, and is a Cultural Enrichment. The text says that being bilingual have less vocabulary of the two languages​​, but I think that's a very small disadvantage in front of the many benefits of being bilingual or multilingual.

    Anna Jiménez García
    2nd BAT A

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  17. I agree to some point with Anna, but as I see it we can't apply at all the article to our country. Because as Sergi said the both lenguages we speak are so similar, and the text talks about speaking two or more completly different lenguages. Anyway, I think being bilingual, as everything, can be an advantage and a disadvantage. On one hand, we have that multilingualism can provide health benefits to Alzheimer's patients and improves your executive functioning, like the author says. Furthermore, I think as more languages you know, you can learn more lenguages on an easier way. For example, for catalan people it's easier learning French, beacause it have some similitudes with Catalan and Spanish. This are advantages, of course!! On the other hand I have an exhausting experience with multilingualism. I speak Catalan with my mum and my sister, Spanish with my father and my uncles and a dialect of catalan with my grandparents, when we are together is absolutly exhausting having long conversations. Moreover, I think I do more spelling mistakes than someone monolingual, because I write some Catalan words as in Spanish and vice versa.
    To conclude, i would like to say that the advantages of being multilingual are bigger than the disadvantages we could have. It's cool being bilingual!!

    Maria Calabuig
    2nd BAT A

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    Replies
    1. You are right. Spelling checkers are biligual people's best friends!!

      Delete
  18. The most people, who live in Catalonia, speak Catalan and Spanish, they can be similar languages but they aren't the same, so I think that we can consider all these people bilinguals persons. I think that be bilingual it’s useful because you can found more opportunities in the life, for example, at Spain, the people who live in Andalucía, if they don’t learn some Catalan before it’s more difficult to found a job here, but a catalan person can found a job in Catalonia or Andalucía. I think that we have more opportunities.
    In my opinion it’s very important learning different languages because we’re in a difficult moment that we haven’t money and job so for me, one of the best options is travel to other country to found a good job.

    Andrea Contreras 2n BAT A

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  19. Referring to what Bialystock says in the article, when she says that "Bilingual children have on average a smaller vocabulary in each of their languages than monolingual children", she explains that like a disadvantage, In fact this is the only disadvantage of bilingualism that the article talks about. But I do not entirely agree with this argument, for me is more important learn to speak more than one language, because in the future you'll need it; than know a lot of the same language.
    If you don't know a word in your own language you can use another way to say it, because you know more than the basic vocabulary; but if you need to write a letter, or speak with a foreign person (and I'm sure that some day you'll have to do it) you cannot do it because you know a lot of your language, but it is not the only language in the world and not everybody will understand you.

    Ferran Martinez
    2nd BAT A

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  20. I'm a bilingual, I speak Spanish and Catalan since I was a child. But I speak more in Spanish and Catalan I only use in the school.
    In my opinion, who speak two languages have more vocabulary and know more expressions. In this case Catalan and Spanish are similar languages, but are better and useful know two languages than a person who is monolingual.
    I think the persons who knows more than one lenguage have the capacity of learn more lenguages and this is important. Because the person who knows more lenguague will have more oportunities in his life.

    Ivan Batlle 2 BAT A

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  21. In my opinion being bilingual is necessary, in Catalonia the most people speak two or more languages, nowadays lear english is very important, beacause languges open doors, the languages can help you found a job, that it's so hard now.
    And the most important reason, to communicate whith others persons. You can travel anywhere and you can communicate with many people and so facilitate your life.
    Learning languages is very important for the future.

    Diego Díaz 2n BAT A

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  22. We are lucky to live in Catalonia because we speak two languages. In my opinion be bilingual is an advantage because increases your culture.
    I'm agree with the text except in the point that says people who are bilingual have less vocabulary in each languages. I think that it's not true because at the beginning when you are learning the language and you previously know other you have more vocabulary in the language that you know first but with the time you know the same vocabulary. Anyway it's true that we make more mistakes than the monolingual people.
    I think that be bilingual helps for learn other languages and it's an important advantage.


    Andrea del Puerto 2n BAT A

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  23. I think that speak one language or more was refering about speak other language than Spanish or Catalan, because that's languages are more similar and are diferent in any contains.
    In my opinion I have a good luck because I speak arabic and this language was another language and was very difficult and diferent than catalan or spanish, although I speak spanish more than arabic and in the future this language was a plus to find a good job, with the languages that I can speak and this times if you speak exotic languages ore difficult languages, in the future you can earn more than if you can speak two languages.
    Asmaa Cherki Ibba 2n BAT B

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  24. The things the author says in this article are totally applicable to my country. Here in Catalonia there are two official languages: Catalan and Castilian (Spanish for the rest of the world). People grow learning these two languages, and using both of them. We are a real bilingual society, in which the movement from Catalan to Castilian is done in a natural way in a conversation, depending on the language that the interlocutor speaks.
    As it is said in the text, being a bilingual person have a cost, because your vocabulary in each language can be smaller, but it is also a fact that you are improving your mental performance when knowing, and using, more than one language.
    I am very happy and very proud to be bilingual. Despite that some people can consider that the effort to study Catalan can be allocated to the study of a less minority language, I think that it is part of our culture and do not have to lose it.

    Rubén Alvarez
    2 BAT B

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  25. All that the author says is applicable in Catalonia. I live in Catalonia, and I am bilingual. And I think that is an advantage because we have more easily to learn languages ​​ and can be changing the language depending on the situation. But I disagree that we have less vocabulary in each language, because we were practicing them life, but if we make more mistakes because of the mixture of the two languages​​.

    Esther Boix
    2 BAT A

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  26. The things that the author says can be applied to my country.
    In my opinion, people who are bilingual have more facilities for find a job or travel around the world and talk with people of diferent countries.
    I'm bilingual because I talk two languages, Catalan and Castilian languages,on one hand with my family I talk Castilian because when I was a child my parents talk me in this language but in other hand I talk Catalan in the school with my teachers and a lot of friends.

    I want to learn more languages for talk with people of diferent countries.

    Laura Delgado
    2 BAT B

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  27. I agree whith the article when it says that speak more than one lenguage is better than speak only one. Well, maybe you'll know less vocabulary of each lenguage, but if you'll be able to defend yourself in another country or understand an follow a meeting it compensates. In my opinion, bilingual people has a different or more desenvolupated mind, because they can think and argue int different lenguages. Every lenguage has her words, concepts and expressions, and the can make bilingual people think or expressate theirselves quickly than a monolingual people.

    Anna Garcia Cuxart, 2 BAT A.
    Also, if you are looking for a job, I'm sure that the probability of being accepted in everywhere if you're bilingual or you speak more than one lenguage will be higer than being monolingual.

    In my case, I think that I'm a bilingual person, because I speak Spanish and Catalan since I was born and later I learned French, English and a little bit of German at Hig School. I think it's very important to learn anothers lenguages, because in this way you learn another cultures, and that's so good. There are a lot of cultures in the world, and all of them are important. They have to carry on and continue speaking their lenguage, using their vocavulary and doing their traditions. If they don't they can loose their culture, and that's so sad.

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  28. I believe that to speak more than one language is super important to be able to travel, to communicate with other persons of another country and also for the work.
    And what she says in the article I believe that it is applied in my city, since we speak two languages, which are the spanish and the Catalan.
    I'm a bilingual person since to speak perfectly in Catalan and Spanish, and I'm very satisfied of it, since thanks to it I can speak two languages and to express with one of them, and finally I think that learning languages is very important for the future, because surely in the future we have to go away to another country to working.

    Noelia Ramos
    2 BAT B

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  29. What the author is saying is what happens in my country, because we talk Catalan and Spanish. Those two languages are both official in Catalonia at the same level, but I think that the Catalan should be the official language and the Spanish a secondary language for help. I don’t agree that bilingualism means have a poor vocabulary of the languages, I think that you don’t speak them at the same level, but the language you learn by the way of talking it at home with your parents, you speak it like if it was the only language you know. I’m so happy to be bilingual, because you can understand more people, and that gives you facilities when you travel. Also I think that speak different languages makes it easy to have a good job.




    Roger Niubó Clavé 2 Batx B

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  30. This article shares good news for everybody who speaks two or more languages! But this gives me a doubt: Do the differences between the two languages influence in the executive functioning of the brain? In fact in Catalonia the existent bilingualism is between two similar languages.
    "Being able to use two languages and never knowing which one you're going to use right now rewires your brain" It’s something that happens to me a lot, when a stranger asks me I try to answer him with the same language.
    In conclusion, bilingualism brings me a better ability to confront challenges. I think that it is more important that the issue of having less vocabulary in every language.

    Daniel Domínguez
    2nd BAT A

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  31. I think that in my country this type of bilingual education is hard to expand for all the State because Spain has been under a totalitarian system where the only language allowed was the Spanish.
    We have to say that in both Catalonia and other regions of Spain there’s some kind of bilingualism that allows a better adaptation when we chat with other person. This ability when we talk with other person gives to the bilingual some kind of superiority, because a monolingual have more limited expression when he talks.

    MArçal Blanco MArtí
    2 Bat B

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  32. In this topic, the author of the article and I have similar ideas. I live in a region of Spain where we speak two languages, one is Catalan and the other is Castilian. But there are many people from other regions who don't understand because we speak a minority language likeCatalan. But I think it's very important to keep all the languages ​​that we can because they are part of our culture.

    Being a bilingual person has different advantages, for example: you can do better actions with various tasks like driving. It also has some disadvantages like having less vocabulary in the languages ​​you speak. In my opinion, I think the advantatges are more important than the disadvantages.

    Xavier Macià
    2n BAT B

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  33. In Spain there are four official languages but the majority of the people only speak Spanish. And this is so sad, because Spain has a lot of native languages. In my opinion Spanish should speak all this languages because the polyglots have more culture and is easier learn others idioms.
    Furthermore I think it’s important know foreign languages especially English because if you know English, you will speak with people around the world.
    I am bilingual, because I speak Catalan and Spanish since I was a child and I can speak, read and understand both them.

    Elena Esteller 2n Bat A

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  34. The things the author says can be applied to my country but just in part; as my Spanish teacher said, nobody, or almost nobody is bilingual. Bilingualism means that you dominate two languages perfectly, at the same level. Just a few Spanish people can achieve this. Different Spanish regions have two official languages, Spanish and its own language. Most of us prefer talking the language that we talk with our parents the most of time. So we can speak in both languages correctly, but not at the same level.
    I’m included in that case, I prefer speaking in Spanish, but I can speak in Catalan too.
    Since I do not speak Catalan as well as I speak Spanish, I’m not bilingual, I just can speak two languages.
    I think it’s true when it says that we have smaller vocabularies. For example, there are a lot of words I can’t say in Catalan but in Spanish, and vice versa. There are also some words that I understand in English but I couldn’t give a translation or a meaning in my language.
    Despite this, I think that if you can speak more than one or two languages, your possibilities of having a job are greater, so it is a very good advantage.

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