The Negative Effects Of Bilingualism On A Child's Cognitive Development

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Bilingualism is skill that is gained through life circumstances that does not require some innate skill (Bialystok, 2011). Some of these circumstances could include one’s family, immigration history, or birthplace. The ability to speak and understand more than one language is common among over half the world’s population (Bialystok et al., 2012). In the 1960s, many researchers warned against teaching children more than one language as it many cause confusion and it appeared to have negative effects on a child’s cognitive development (Bialystok, 1988). As research regarding bilingualism has progressed, the effects of bilingualism have been shown to be advantageous compared to monolingual counterparts. Recent studies have even found that bilingualism provides benefits all stages of life (Bialystok, 2011). Many studies look into the idea of executive control. Executive control is the ability to control tasks involving inhibition, attention, and conflict or even broader, anything that requires effortful selection (Clare et al., 2014; & Bialystok, 2011). This ability develops late in cognitive development and declines with age (Bialystok et al., 2012). Researchers hypothesize that bilingual individuals have a continually activated executive control system as there are two competing languages that must be selected from based on the social context. Due to the joint activation of two languages, there is an attention struggle that is not present in monolingual individuals or bimodal
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