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In general, optimal input for reducing mixing appears to be dual language input in the home that consistently associates one person with one language (McLaughlin, 1978). In documenting the bilingual development of his son in Spanish and English, Fantini (1976) gives evidence that the more separate the environments in which each language is used and the more consistent the language use within each of these environments, the more rapidly and more easily bilingual children learn to differentiate their linguistic systems.

Basically, it remains to be shown that L2 acquisition is different from Ll acquisition in any fundamental way. Furthermore, the more balanced the input, the more the bilingual child's language acquisition tends to correspond to patterns in monolingual language development (McLaughlin, 1981 ). 34 Language Acquisition in Bilingual Children Along with the striking parallels between L1 and L2 acquisition, however, differences can be observed. Second-language learners bring to the task increased experience, including L1 communicative competence, greater levels of cognitive development and maturity.

This competence develops in the stage when the two languages become differentiated. Discourse Competence. Although much has yet to be mapped out for the simultaneous acquisition of rules governing specific language functions in two languages, one may predict that these rules, like those in other components of competence, parallel those for monolinguals. Research is currently being done in this area. Strategic Competence. Although relatively little research in simultaneous bilingualism has focused on the cognitive and social strategies outlined by Fillmore (1979) for child L2 learners, anecdotal evidence reveals that children concurrently acquiring two languages employ similar strategies.

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