Studies Show Bilingual Children Develop Better Cognitive & Social Skills Than Others

Psychology researchers have recently yielded study results that have demonstrated significant advantages for children that are bilingual and/or are exposed to multiple languages. It makes sense to believe that if a child is capable of understanding, speaking and distinguishing between two or more languages, that they have superior skills that enable them to manage fluencies in areas of grammar, pronunciation, listening, and comprehension. But what makes it more evident is that developmental studies on groups of children aged 4 to 6 from different linguistic backgrounds have reflected that these children have improved cognitive skills like executive function. For example, three cars (small, medium, and large) were placed in front of these children who were asked to move the small car. The children were in a position where they could observe that the adult could not see the smallest car, only the medium and large were in plain sight,  so they understood that the adult must be referring to the medium car and moved that one instead. This shows that they are able to attend to not only content but context as well, which provides them the ability to consider other people’s perspectives in a manner more advanced than monolingual children. Children who were exposed to another language–like those who have grandparents that speak another language–performed just as well as the bilingual children. A similar study was done on even younger bilingual children and children exposed to a second language only 14 to 16 months in age and they also demonstrated the ability to adopt another’s perspective for communication better than monolingual babies.

I found these study results to be quite impressive because of the skills and abilities developed in these children at such a young age. In today’s society, it’s a given that there is a competitive advantage in adopting a second language especially career-wise. Research like such just proves the importance of consuming as much knowledge as possible, beginning at the very early stages of life, in order to reach or come close to reaching one’s full cognitive and interpersonal potential.

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