Are Bilinguals Smarter Than Monolinguals Essay

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Are Bilinguals Smarter Than Monolinguals?
A Review of the Literature
Luke James Walkington
La Trobe University

Are Bilinguals Smarter Than Monolinguals?
A Review of the Literature
‘Bilingual’ people are differentiated from ‘Monolingual’ people by their frequent communication with two or more languages (Barac & Bialystok, 2012). Bilinguals are thought to be smarter than Monolinguals (Rubio-Fernández & Glucksberg, 2012). Smartness is a measure of successfulness in their education (Hatt, 2007, p. 146). Because of this, there is a debate to decide whether the next generation of children should be exposed to a Bilingual education. This has led to research into whether Bilingual education slows the learning of literacy and
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However, not all studies show that being Bilingual is advantageous. Kaushanskaya and Marian (2007) found that Russian-English Bilinguals were sensitive to the phonology of Russian language (p. 140). This means that when these Russian-English Bilinguals come across a new word in English, they are less likely to be able to understand its meaning. This phonological ability is commonly used in testing intelligence quotient (IQ) (Williams, McIntosh, Dixon, Newton, & Youman, 2010). IQ has been shown to only have a partial effect in predicting educational success (Alloway & Alloway, 2010). Hence, although this phonetic ability is useful, it does not necessarily measure smartness.
In conclusion, current Literature suggests that Bilinguals may be smarter than Monolinguals. Through specialised education research has shown that Bilinguals are more knowledgeable without sacrifice to the quality of literacy and numeracy (Barnett et al., 2007). Research has also shown that Bilinguals have enhanced reasoning ability (Goetz, 2003; Kovács, 2009). In contrast, they may also suffer from interference to their phonology from knowing several languages (Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2007). This means that they may have difficulty in discerning meaning from unknown words. However, this is not a measure of smartness but rather of IQ. Although Bilinguals may be smarter than Monolinguals when considering the current Literature, to be conclusive, further
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