Positive Effects Of Bilingualism

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Elizabeth Peal and Wallace Lambert published a monograph titled “The Relation of Bilingualism to Intelligence” in 1962. They directed research in Montreal with 10-year-old children where they analyzed the performances of monolinguals to bilingual speakers of French and English on standardized tests of intelligence. Before this study was conducted, bilingualism was thought of negatively because there was concern around bilingual children and the disadvantages of learning two languages at once. Some disadvantages included lower intelligence, a “language handicap”, poor linguistic capabilities, more grammatical errors, reduced vocabulary, among numerous other factors researchers believed to be true. Peal and Lambert’s discoveries were the first research study that contradicted the negative opinions noted previously in research and underlined the positive effects of bilingualism in relation to cognitive development. Studies after Peal and Lambert’s continued to show that bilingualism has more positive, beneficial outcomes rather than focus on the negative ones. These positive outcomes include better cognitive control abilities, improved executive functioning, and protection against cognitive decline. Therefore, knowing two languages is greater than knowing just one.
To continue the discussion around the Peal and Lambert study, they noted that many of the earlier studies done on bilingualism were flawed because they failed to control variables such as socioeconomic status and
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