There was a similar question regarding bilingual education here: Have there been any studies into detrimental effects of language learning?

My question alludes to a different setting, specifically to an immersion method known as Content and language integrated learning (CCIL) where some subjects not related to the second language are taught in the second language.

What detrimental effects on the first language are known and described in the scientific literature?

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    @Flimzy: The other question deals with bilingual education. I am interested in second language learning. Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 8:38
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    It seems you are talking about (CLIL ) which indeed is an entirely different concept from bilingualism. Your question is not very clear and probably should rephrase it. What are the advantages of Content and Language Integrated Learning? (just a suggestion...)
    – None
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 9:02
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    From personal experience, an obvious disadvantage is not knowing the relevant terminology in my native language.
    – Ansa211
    Commented Apr 9, 2016 at 13:51
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    Decreased content knowledge in the subjects taught in L2
    – LN6595
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 14:43
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    Lots. In my case, knowledge of noun gender was particularly affected.
    – SAH
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


Normally the second language doesn't bother the first. Instead the first language bothers the second. We tend to force the rules of our first language on the second which leads to some strange phrases. There are also times when we can code-switch between the two languages which can be a problem.

For children, it's slightly different. If they learn both languages simultaneously it can lead to semilingualism. Semilingualism is a lack of native proficiency in both languages.

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    Since I learned English quite thoroughly, I often am lacking the right word when speaking in French (my native langage), because my brain straight away find one word in English that conveys perfectly what I want to say, and I forgot its French equivalent (if it exists)... My vocabulary seems also more extended now in English than in French (probably because I read/watch/listen many more things in American & British English than in French). And sometimes (especially while writing scripts commentaries) I switch from one to the other without realising it. Commented May 26, 2016 at 15:20

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