An Article Critique of Peter Serdyukov’s Can Balanced Bilingualism Be Achieved in a Multicultural Society? Second and First Language Implications
Serdyukov who casually and occasionally refers to himself and anonymous others using the pronoun “we” calls for bilingual symmetry in multi-cultural countries. In his article, Can Balanced Bilingualism Be Achieved in a Multicultural Society? Second and First Language Implications, he tackles the prominent issue of many immigrant-accepting countries with multiple language acquisition and learning. His article was featured in The Journal of Innovative Teaching which is affiliated with The National University where he teaches.
The title is appealing because it catches the attention with a question repeatedly asked by people concerned with EFL, ESL, and FL. IT is straightforward and clear because it states the problematic that the article wants to solve and analyze.
The abstract is also the same as the title because it lays Serdyukov’s cards on the table as to what he aims to get at from the article and the theories he studied. He clearly states that the article is based on previous studies and theories and new innovative methods to propose a balanced bilingualism with guidance for teachers for more efficient SL learning. So, the abstract shows that the article is almost stagnant with respect to practical occurrences or research in this field. That is the main downside; that there is almost a nonexistence of any actions pursued on the behalf of the writer or his research team (which also does not exist or is part of the anonymous “we”). The key words he will use in the article are clearly stated with a part in the article only for them. They are seldom use and are basic jargon. They indicate that the audience of the article is not exclusive of masters’ students like us or undergraduate Education students.
As for the introduction, and starting with the classics, his thesis statement is clear and reinforces the purpose of the article. It is well structured with a foreshadowing of the article’s structure: This paper discusses the interaction between the first and the second languages within the context of interculturalism, analyzes issues facing second language learning in the USA (ESL and FL), proposes practical ideas for improvement, and offers realistic suggestions for developing a balanced bilingual society. What lessens the professionalism of the latter is a petty detail; nonetheless, it makes a difference: It would’ve been better if he hadn’t said, “this paper”, but to go about the thesis statement without direct indications. The thesis statement would become more independent and a basis for further judgment. Now, for more in-depth criticism of the introduction, his introduction is two-faced: it clears things out but it also confuses other things. IT clears out some acronyms that are a necessity all throughout the article and on which the article is based: ESL, EFL, and FL. He defines these term with respect to geographical reference. ESL is teaching English as a second language in U.S.A to non-natives. EFL is teaching English as a foreign language to non-native speakers in a country where English is not the 1st language. And, FL is teaching other foreign languages in any country. He also speaks of the necessity to regard bilingual asymmetry and symmetry because of a global world-wide happening which is the acceptance of immigrants in some countries and the birth of multi-lingualism. Are you confused with respect to him discussing bilingualism or multi-lingualism according to what I have stated? Well, so was I while reading. Therefore, this is one of the major negatives in his introduction. He speaks of multi-lingualism since he brings up the topic of FL and EFL, the whole world, globalization, Europe and immigrants, but then goes back to U.S.A and speaks of bilingualism. Furthermore, he makes absolute generalizations about the whole world when I’m sure he did not...
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