Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study examines role of bilingualism in children's development

08.02.2012
A new study on children who are raised bilingual examined the effects on children's development of growing up speaking two languages. The study found that different factors were responsible for the language- and non-language-related outcomes of bilingualism found in previous research.

The research was carried out at York University in Toronto and published in the journal Child Development.

Bilingual children show differences in how they develop language and cognitive skills through the early school years. Children who grow up speaking two languages have slower language acquisition in each language than children raised speaking just one language. However, they have better metalinguistic development that gives them a deeper understanding of the structure of language, a skill that's important for literacy. And they perform better on tests of nonverbal executive control, that is, tests that measure children's ability to focus attention where necessary without being distracted and shift attention when required.

Because bilingualism is often tied to other factors—including differences in culture, socioeconomic status, immigration history, and language—it's difficult to determine which aspect of the bilingual experience is responsible for outcomes, or indeed, whether it's bilingualism at all.

To determine what effects can be associated with being raised speaking two languages, researchers compared more than 100 6-year-old monolingual and bilingual children (English monolinguals, Chinese-English bilinguals, French-English bilinguals, and Spanish-English bilinguals) using three tasks that measured verbal development and one nonverbal task that measured executive control. All the children had similar levels of socioeconomic status.

The bilingual groups differed in the degree of similarity between languages, cultural background, immigration history, and language of schooling. Nevertheless, on an executive control task in which children needed to switch between two sorting rules to classify a set of pictures, all bilingual groups performed similarly and exceeded monolinguals. Differences in language, culture, and immigration all produced the same bilingual advantage compared to the monolinguals. In contrast, the best performance on the language tasks was achieved by bilingual children whose language of instruction was the same as the language of the test and whose two languages had more overlap.

"In sum, executive control outcomes for bilingual children are general, but performance on verbal tasks is specific to factors in the bilingual experience, like how close a child's two language are, and whether they are assessed in the same language they are taught in school," according to Ellen Bialystok, Distinguished Research Professor in the department of psychology at York University, who took part in the study.

Sarah Hutcheon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.srcd.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

Im Focus: Stronger evidence for a weaker Atlantic overturning

The Atlantic overturning – one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards – is weaker today than any time before in more than 1000 years. Sea surface temperature data analysis provides new evidence that this major ocean circulation has slowed down by roughly 15 percent since the middle of the 20th century, according to a study published in the highly renowned journal Nature by an international team of scientists. Human-made climate change is a prime suspect for these worrying observations.

“We detected a specific pattern of ocean cooling south of Greenland and unusual warming off the US coast – which is highly characteristic for a slowdown of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Improved stability of plastic light-emitting diodes

19.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Enduring cold temperatures alters fat cell epigenetics

19.04.2018 | Life Sciences

New capabilities at NSLS-II set to advance materials science

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>